High-intensity focused ultrasound emitted in short pulses is a promising, non-invasive procedure for enhancing gene delivery to cancerous cells without destroying healthy tissue, according to a study in the May issue of the journal Radiology.
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is more powerful than standard ultrasound. HIFU can destroy tumors through long and continuous exposures that raise the temperature inside cancerous cells, effectively "cooking" them. Under a technique introduced by King C.P. Li, M.D., M.B.A., from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), short pulses of HIFU can be used to prevent exposed tissue from becoming too hot and damaged. Pulsed-HIFU instead renders tissues permeable and helps target them for taking up genes and other therapeutic substances injected into the body.
"Basically, were using sound waves to open up the tissue by producing gaps between the cells, making it leakier and more prone to taking up various genes, agents and compounds," said Victor Frenkel, Ph.D., a staff scientist for the diagnostic radiology department at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Doug Dusik | EurekAlert!
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