Feb. 6, 2023

HIFU: How Sound Waves Can Destroy Tumors | Dr. Joanne Tuohy #202

HIFU: How Sound Waves Can Destroy Tumors | Dr. Joanne Tuohy #202

Use sound waves to make tumors explode with a cloud of tiny bubbles? Check! This experimental therapy may be the future of bone cancer treatment in dogs.

The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine is one of the few locations in the world studying histotripsy, also known as high-intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU. This non-invasive therapy uses powerful sound waves to, well, basically disintegrate tumors. It may sound crazy, but it’s a real thing, and there are even clinical trials in humans ongoing in Spain.

Dr. Joanne Tuohy explains the method and the current studies that she is involved with. Current work is focused on osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and soft tissue sarcoma, but they are hoping to expand to other solid tumors in the future. While we don’t yet know all of the answers and HIFU is far from being considered standard of care for dog cancer, dogs with bone cancer or soft tissue sarcoma may be eligible to participate in clinical trials and receive this therapy.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Show:

Histotripsy for treatment of canine appendicular osteosarcoma clinical trial: https://vetmed.vt.edu/clinical-trials/current-studies/histotripsy-osteo.html

Evaluating the ablative and biomechanical effects of complete tumor histotripsy ablation in canine osteosarcoma clinical trial: https://vetmed.vt.edu/clinical-trials/current-studies/histotripsy-osteo-no-amputation.html

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) ablation as single modality treatment for canine subcutaneous tumors clinical trial: https://vetmed.vt.edu/clinical-trials/current-studies/hifu-sts.html

HeEV: Histotripsy-enabled Extracellular Vesicle characterization in canine soft tissue sarcoma patients clinical trial: https://vetmed.vt.edu/clinical-trials/current-studies/heev-histotropsy-sts.html


0:00 Start

1:53 HIFU vs Diagnostic Ultrasound

8:08 Safety

13:49 Non-Thermal HIFU or Histotripsy

16:42 Potential Immune System Effects

19:53 Light Anesthesia

23:54 Pain Relief

26:46 Cancer Types

30:37 Aftercare

31:55 Clinical Trial Setup

36:49 In the Future

38:34 Dr. Tuohy’s Top Advice

About Today’s Guest, Dr. Joanne Tuohy:

Dr. Tuohy is a veterinary surgical oncologist and immunologist. She believes in the strength of a One Health approach to comparative oncology research to benefit both veterinary and human patients with cancer. The overall goal of her research is to improve cancer outcomes for veterinary and human patients via tumor ablation and immunotherapy, especially for patients with osteosarcoma. Specifically, her research team investigates the use of two non-thermal tumor ablation techniques – histotripsy and high-frequency irreversible electroporation (H-FIRE). Her research focuses on developing histotripsy as a tumor ablation modality for the primary tumor in osteosarcoma, and on developing H-FIRE as a tumor ablation modality for metastatic tumors in osteosarcoma. Additionally, her research also evaluates the immune response after histotripsy and H-FIRE ablation of tumors. Her research team utilizes veterinary clinical trials, preclinical models, and in-vitro systems to explore the ablative and immunomodulatory effects of histotripsy and H-FIRE.

Virginia-Maryland College of Vet Med

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