Utrecht hospital pioneers ultrasound cancer treatment
The University Medical Centre in Utrecht is introducing a new therapy for breast cancer next month using ultrasound. The therapy will be used on women with benign tumours at first. In two or three years time, women with cancer will be treated using ultrasound.
The UMC Utrecht says it is the first hospital in the world to do research on the new therapy. Ultrasound is used to heat the breast tumour to 60 to 90 degrees Celsius, killing the tumour cells. Once the cells have been killed, the body clears them away. At the same time, doctors monitor the temperature and the location of the tumour using an MRI scan.
The new method means the patient does not need to undergo an operation, but patients do still need radiation treatment.
Once the new therapy has been tested sufficiently in a couple of year's time, around a quarter of breast cancer patients could be treated in this way. The therapy is suitable for patients with small tumors which have not spread elsewhere in the body.
An average one in nine women in the Netherlands gets breast cancer. It is the most common form of cancer in women.
The UMC Utrecht already uses ultrasound to treat women with fibroids.
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