Image-guided therapeutic ultrasound

Image-guided therapeutic ultrasound

The image-guided therapeutic ultrasound group investigates magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US) guided high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for tissue ablation, and the direct and indirect therapeutic effects of ultrasound (mediated) molecular interventions, including image-guided drug delivery. Our main objective is the development and application of image-guided focused ultrasound therapies.

Faculty uitklapper, klik om te openen

L.W. Bartels, C. Bos, R.H.R. Deckers, C. MoonenM. Ries

Therapeutic ultrasound uitklapper, klik om te openen

Ultrasound is based on oscillating pressure waves with frequencies above 20 kHz. It is well known in medicine because of ultrasound imaging. Ultrasound, in particular when using higher pressure amplitudes, can also be used for therapeutic applications. For this, ultrasound can be concentrated into a focal point. In this case, it is referred to as focused ultrasound (FUS) or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU).

Therapeutic effects of (focused) ultrasound uitklapper, klik om te openen

We investigate the therapeutic effects of FUS/HIFU for:

  • local tissue ablation by raising the temperature to induce tissue necrosis
  • increasing the local drug concentration and decreasing systemic toxicity

Image guidance uitklapper, klik om te openen

Image-guided FUS/HIFU allows precise targeting of the lesion and avoiding damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. We study the role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound imaging in guidance of ultrasound mediated interventions. This encompasses the development of new imaging techniques, for:

  • Planning (in collaboration with MRI-guided radiotherapy group)
  • Real-time guidance during the procedure
  • Evaluation of treatment efficacy (in collaboration with the Medical Imaging and Image Analysis group)
  • MR-based thermometry for feedback of thermal ultrasound therapies
  • Ultrasound imaging techniques for feedback of non-thermal ultrasound effects.

Current clinical applications

These HIFU therapies have already found their applications in MRI-guided non-invasive treatment of painful bone metastases and breast cancer. Our research also investigates its potential role of ablation in liver, kidney and pancreas cancer, and image guided drug delivery in breast cancer. These developments are synergistic with the research on MRI-guided radiotherapy and improved MRI based diagnostic imaging in the Center for Image Sciences.


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