University of Virginia Doctors Studying Ultrasound to Fight Breast Cancer

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at UVA Medical Center at UVA Medical Center

Two University of Virginia researchers are testing the effectiveness of using focused ultrasound to battle breast cancer.

Dr. Patrick Dillon and Dr. David Brenin just launched what they believe to be the first clinical trial to combine focused ultrasound with immunotherapy. Their goal is to fight breast cancer without surgery or chemotherapy.

In this trial, the researchers will use a focused ultrasound to destroy part of the primary tumor and then patients will receive an immunotherapy drug to prompt their immune system to kill the cancer cells.

If successful, this trial is the first of many that will be needed to test the safety and effectiveness of the procedure before it can be used on patients.

"We've known that focused ultra sound therapy might be an immune therapy so the question is can we combine it with other immune therapies and receive and even better or synergistic response," Dillon said.

Fifteen women ages eighteen and older who have received at least one form of treatment for their metastatic cancer will be selected to participate in the trial.

Dillon says they expect the trial to take between a year and  fourteen months and they are still looking for patients.

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