"MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) ablation is a noninvasive technique that requires no incision or puncture to perform. Instead, it uses the acoustic energy from high-intensity focused ultrasound to remove, or ablate, diseased tissue. Continuous MRI is used to locate the lesions and monitor the temperature change during the ablation process.
Primary advantages of MRgFUS over other breast cancer treatments are that it is a noninvasive, outpatient procedure offering a quick recovery time, and that it provides precise measurement of temperature changes during the procedure.
"In the treatment stage, we are able to precisely visualize where the energy is having an effect and to measure exactly the rise in temperature," said Alessandro Napoli, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of radiology at Sapienza University in Rome. "Temperature monitoring is particularly important, since too low a temperature is ineffective and too high a temperature may be dangerous."
Dr. Napoli and colleagues assessed the safety and efficacy of MRgFUS in 12 patients with invasive ductal breast cancer before surgical removal of the cancer and biopsy of the lymph nodes. They used 3T MRI to confirm the presence and treatable location of cancerous lesions. The patients then underwent single-session MRgFUS treatment. Researchers evaluated treatment efficacy through post-surgery pathology."