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Researchers destroy cancer cells with ultrasound treatment
America - Dr. Ilovitsh developed this breakthrough technology during her post-doctorate research at the lab of Prof. Katherine Ferrara at Stanford University. The technique utilizes low frequency ultrasound (250 kHz) to detonate microscopic tumor-targeted bubbles. In vivo, cell destruction reached 80% of tumor cells. "Microbubbles are microscopic bubbles filled with gas, with a diameter...
America - Dr. Ilovitsh developed this breakthrough technology during her post-doctorate research at the lab of Prof. Katherine Ferrara at Stanford University. The technique utilizes low frequency ultrasound (250 kHz) to detonate microscopic tumor-targeted bubbles. In vivo, cell destruction reached 80% of tumor cells.
"Microbubbles are microscopic bubbles filled with gas, with a diameter as small as one tenth of a blood vessel," Dr. Ilovitsh explains. "At certain frequencies and pressures, sound waves cause the microbubbles to act like balloons: they expand and contract periodically. This process increases the transfer of substances from the blood vessels into the surrounding tissue. We discovered that using lower frequencies than those applied previously, microbubbles can significantly expand, until they explode violently. We realized that this discovery could be used as a platform for cancer treatment and started to inject microbubbles into tumors directly."
Dr. Ilovitsh and the rest of the team used tumor-targeted microbubbles that were attached to tumor cells' membranes at the moment of the explosion, and injected them directly into tumors in a mouse model. "About 80% of tumor cells were destroyed in the explosion, which was positive on its own," says Dr. Ilovitsh. "The targeted treatment, which is safe and cost-effective, was able to destroy most of the tumor. However, it is not enough. In order to prevent the remaining cancer cells to spread, we needed to destroy all of the tumor cells. That is why we injected an immunotherapy gene alongside the microbubbles, which acts as a Trojan horse, and signaled the immune system to attack the cancer cell."
On its own, the gene cannot enter into the cancer cells. However, this gene aimed to enhance the immune system was co-injected together with the microbubbles. Membrane pores were formed in the remaining 20% of the cancer cells that survived the initial explosion, allowing the entry of the gene into the cells. This triggered an immune response that destroyed the cancer cell.
"The majority of cancer cells were destroyed by the explosion, and the remaining cells consumed the immunotherapy gene through the holes that were created in their membranes," Dr. Ilovitsh explains. "The gene caused the cells to produce a substance that triggered the immune system to attack the cancer cell. In fact, our mice had tumors on both sides of their bodies. Despite the fact that we conducted the treatment only on one side, the immune system attacked the distant side as well."
Dr. Ilovitsh says that in the future she intends to attempt using this technology as a noninvasive treatment for brain-related diseases such as brain tumors and other neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. "The blood-brain barrier does not allow for medications to penetrate through, but microbubbles can temporary open the barrier, enabling the arrival of the treatment to the target area without the need for an invasive surgical intervention."
for further references log on to:
Low-frequency ultrasound-mediated cytokine transfection enhances T cell recruitment at local and distant tumor sites. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2020; 117 (23): 12674
Dr Kamal Kant Kohli-MBBS, DTCD- a chest specialist with more than 30 years of practice and a flair for writing clinical articles, Dr Kamal Kant Kohli joined Medical Dialogues as a Chief Editor of Medical News. Besides writing articles, as an editor, he proofreads and verifies all the medical content published on Medical Dialogues including those coming from journals, studies,medical conferences,guidelines etc. Before Joining Medical Dialogues, he has served at important positions in the medical industry in India including as the Hony. Secretary of the Delhi Medical Association as well as the chairman of Anti-Quackery Committee in Delhi and worked with other Medical Councils in India. Email: email@example.com. Contact no. 011-43720751