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Diagnostics, Vol. 4, Pages 47-56: Development of a Cancer Treatment with the Concomitant Use of Low-Intensity Ultrasound: Entering the Age of Simultaneous Diagnosis and Treatment

22 Apr 2014

In recent years, studies using ultrasound energy for cancer treatment have advanced, thus revealing the enhancement of drug effects by employing low-intensity ultrasound. Furthermore, anti-angiogenesis against tumors is now attracting attention as a new cancer treatment. Therefore, we focused on the biological effects and the enhancement of drug effects brought by this low-intensity ultrasound energy and reported on the efficacy against a uterine sarcoma model, by implementing the basic studies, for the first time, including the concomitant use of low-intensity ultrasound irradiation, as an expected new antiangiogenic therapy for cancer treatment. Furthermore, we have succeeded in simultaneously utilizing low-intensity ultrasound in both diagnosis and treatment, upon real time evaluation of the anti-tumor effects and anti-angiogenesis effects using color Doppler ultrasound imaging. Although the biological effects of ultrasound have not yet been completely clarified, transient stomas were formed (Sonoporation) in cancer cells irradiated by low-intensity ultrasound and it is believed that the penetration effect of drugs is enhanced due to the drug being more charged inside the cell through these stomas. Furthermore, it has become clear that the concomitant therapy of anti-angiogenesis drugs and low-intensity ultrasound blocks the angiogenic factor VEGF produced by cancer cells, inhibits the induction of circulating endothelial progenitor cells in the bone marrow, and expedites angiogenic inhibitor TSP-1. Based on research achievements in recent years, we predict that the current diagnostic device for color Doppler ultrasound imaging will be improved in the near future, bringing with it the arrival of an age of “low-intensity ultrasound treatment that simultaneously enables diagnosis and treatment of cancer in real time.”

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