This article reviews and discusses the up-to-date data on and feasibility of focused ultrasound surgery. This technique uses high-energy ultrasound beams that can be directed to penetrate through the skin and various soft tissues, focus on the target, and destroy tumors by increasing the temperature at the targeted tissue volume. The boundaries of the treatment area are sharply demarcated (focused) without causing damage to the surrounding organs. Although the idea of using sound waves to ablate tumors was first demonstrated in the 1940 s, only recent developments have enabled this technology to become more controlled and, hence, more feasible. The major breakthrough toward its clinical use came with coupling the thermal ablative process to advanced imaging. The development of magnetic resonance as the foundation to guide and evaluate the end results of focused ultrasound surgery treatment, the image guidance of the ultrasound beam, and the development of a reliable method for tissue temperature measurement and real-time feedback of the extent of tissue destruction have pushed this novel technology forward in oncological practice.
- Focused ultrasound
- Focused ultrasound surgery
- Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound surgery
- Thermal ablation