Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust are using high-frequency sound waves focused on the surface of bone can relieve pain in patients whose cancers have spread to that area.
The researchers noted in a press release that they have already treated five patients, and they are noting "encouraging reductions in the pain they were experiencing from bone tumors."
The technique couples high-intensity focused ultrasound with magnetic resonance imaging guidance. The treatment produces heat, which destroys the nerve tissue in the bone, in turn reducing the pain.
The researchers noted that this trial could lead to further studies at ICR and the Royal Marsden to thermally destroy local tumours at an earlier disease stage.
A pioneering clinical trial is testing whether focusing high-frequency sound waves onto the surface of bone where cancer has spread can burn away the source of pain.