Sound waves used to safely treat metastatic breast cancer

November 8, 2019

A breast cancer diagnosis is difficult to accept, but prompt treatment is necessary before cancer cells break away from the original tumour and travel through the lymphatic system to other parts of the body and form new, fatal, tumours. While current treatments for lymph node metastases are highly invasive and have severe side effects, scientists from Japan’s Tohoku University have introduced a new means of safe and effective drug delivery to cancerous lymph nodes.

The treatment was first tested on mice with low-invasive growth breast cancer metastases, where vesicles carrying anticancer drugs were injected into a pelvic lymph node. The vesicles travelled to lymph nodes in the armpit affected by breast cancer metastases and a subsequent application of high-power ultrasound to the armpit ruptured the vesicles, which led to targeted drug release.

The scientists then tackled more invasive metastases with acoustic liposomes carrying an anticancer drug – the liposomes travelled to armpit lymph nodes and successfully killed cancerous tissue within.

However, further investigations will be needed to determine the optimal injection rate and volume of the treatment before use in in human subjects.


Category: Features, Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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