A focused ultrasound can ‘reduce cancer pain’

6 May 2014

A non-invasive magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS) heats the cancer that has spread to the bone, relieving pain and improving function for patients, according to new research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Radiation therapy is commonly used to treat bone-related pain and is effective for most patients, but not everybody experience pain relief and those that do can have a recurrence over time. 

The new study tested the effectiveness of MRgFUS in 147 patients in cancer centres in the US, Canada, Israel, Italy and Russia. 

Patients appeared to respond well to the treatment, with 64 per cent experiencing no pain or a significant reduction. This was measured by a two point decrease in the numeric rating score (NRS) for pain.

Reductions in pain and improved functioning happened within several days of treatment for most patients, according to the study.

Mark Hurwitz, lead author of the research, said: "It's clear that for many of these patients, pain has a major impact on their everyday lives. This approach offers a new way to help alleviate that pain via an out-patient non-invasive procedure."

Posted by Philip Briggs

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