Ultrasound has been used for over fifty years in the medical field to help diagnose and monitor various conditions. Ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to create images of the inside of the body, like a picture (sonogram). The use of ultrasound has advanced significantly since its inception with technological advancements such as sonodynamic therapy, ultrasound-mediated chemotherapy, and antivascular ultrasound. These therapeutic techniques are showing promise in cancer treatment by promoting tumor-specific drug delivery, enhancing cell membrane permeability, modulating intracellular calcium levels to induce apoptosis or necrosis.
Sonodynamic therapy is a medical procedure that uses ultrasound to trigger drug activity. In this technique, an ultrasound probe is placed directly on top of the tumor or target tissue, where it delivers ultrasonic waves. Sonodynamic therapy penetrates deeper parts of the body that would otherwise require a more invasive method. This process allows for targeting specific tissues and increasing the effective dosage of the drugs by having them act locally instead of systemically throughout the body. Drugs used in sonodynamic therapy include doxorubicin (Adriamycin), bleomycin, cisplatin, daunorubicin (DaunoXome), mitomycin C, epirubicin (Ellence), and triptorelin pamoate, which are all different types of chemotherapeutic agents. Each drug has its own unique function, but they all work by damaging DNA, RNA and causing cell death.
Ultrasound mediated chemotherapy
Ultrasound-mediated chemotherapy, also known as focused therapeutic ultrasound (FUS), is a technique that uses high-intensity and low-frequency sonic energy to facilitate drug release from liposomes or cells themselves in the targeted treatment of cancerous tumors with minimal toxicity to surrounding tissues. This therapy can be combined with other modalities such as hyperthermia, which enhances cellular response to chemotherapeutic drugs by increasing membrane permeability leading to increased intracellular uptake of drugs resulting in enhanced apoptosis (cell death).
Antivascular ultrasound is another form of focused therapeutic ultrasound that uses low-frequency sound waves to destroy blood vessels feeding tumors. This technique could potentially be used as a treatment for cancer because it would kill the tumor without damaging healthy tissue or organs, which causes damage and side effects. Antivascular ultrasound has been shown to improve the delivery of chemotherapy drugs or nanoparticles containing chemotherapeutic agents.
Ultrasound is a versatile imaging tool that can be used to diagnose and monitor various diseases, including cancer, and provide therapeutic treatment options. It has been shown to have promising applications in the treatment of solid tumors such as brain metastasis and going by the current research, the future of ultrasound technology advancement in cancer treatments looks optimistic.