Jun, 2022 - By SMI
Researchers developed new non-invasive ultrasound technology that broken down liver tumors, killed cancer cells and called in immune system to prevent further spread in rats
Tumors form whenever immune system fails to recognize or regulate growth of tumors and replicate tumor. Tumors can avoid the immune system using various evasion techniques. Now a team of researchers at University of Michigan (UM) developed a non-invasive ultrasound technique that broken down liver tumors, eliminated cancer cells and encouraged immune system to prevent further spread of tumor in rats. This new technique killed 50 to 75% of liver tumor in rats, where the remaining tumor cells were cleared by immune systems of rats.
The researchers used ultrasound waves to deliver pulses that were microsecond long to the targeted tissues. This method used in this treatment is known as histotripsy, which forms bubbles in the tissue that rapidly expand and collapse aggressively and cause mechanical stress that kills cancer cells and dismantles the structure of tumor, and then the remaining debris gets absorbed by the body. This technique leverages the immune response that gets induced by histotripsy. According to the team, the remaining debris consists components that cause immunogenic cell death, where tumor cells are targeted by the immune system. With this technique, only parts of tumor can be targeted with ultrasound and simultaneously induce the immune system to kill the remaining cancer cells.
Furthermore, when tested in rats, the ultrasound technique destroyed 50 to 75% liver tumors and the rest was cleared up by the immune system of rats without any traces of metastasis or recurrence of tumor in 80% of the rats. According to the scientists, the mechanism working behind this destruction of remaining tumor debris is not clear, it requires further research to confirm it. The team is now working on developing technique that could be used for treating tumors at different progression stages.
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