Trial uses Focused Ultrasound to fight cancer

(MGN Online)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WSET) -- Researchers at UVA are working to develop a trial that will help bodies recognize and destroy cancer cells.

The two-pronged experimental approach is to combat metastatic breast cancer, which can spread to other parts of the body.

Researchers are using focused ultrasounds to heat up and destroy a portion of the primary tumor in hopes that it will prompt an immune response.

They say study participants also receive an immunotherapy drug that they hope will prevent the cancer cells from blocking that immune response.

Dr. Patrick Dillon who is heading up the study said they hope this will unmask the cancer to the immune system.

"That means to get the body's immune system to recognize the cancer as being foreign and to start going after and attacking cancer cells not only in the site of the breast cancer but other parts of the body where breast cancer may have spread," Dillon said.

The method does not require surgery.

The study is in the early stages and will take about 14 months to complete.

But the hopes is that if it works in patients with advanced stages of cancer, they can one day use it for patients with earlier stages.

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