Treatment of human pancreatic cancer using combined ultrasound, microbubbles, and gemcitabine: A clinical case study

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability and efficacy of inducing sonoporation in a clinical setting, using commercially available technology, to increase the patients’ quality of life and extend the low Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance grade; as a result increasing the overall survival in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma.


Patients were treated using a customized configuration of a commercial clinical ultrasound scanner over a time period of 31.5 min following standard chemotherapy treatment with gemcitabine. SonoVue® ultrasound contrast agent was injected intravascularly during the treatment with the aim to induce sonoporation.


Using the authors’ custom acoustic settings, the authors’ patients were able to undergo an increased number of treatment cycles; from an average of 9 cycles, to an average of 16 cycles when comparing to a historical control group of 80 patients. In two out of five patients treated, the maximum tumor diameter was temporally decreased to 80 ± 5% and permanently to 70 ± 5% of their original size, while the other patients showed reduced growth. The authors also explain and characterize the settings and acoustic output obtained from a commercial clinical scanner used for combined ultrasound microbubble and chemotherapy treatment.


It is possible to combine ultrasound, microbubbles, and chemotherapy in a clinical setting using commercially available clinical ultrasound scanners to increase the number of treatment cycles, prolonging the quality of life in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma compared to chemotherapy alone.

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