Focused Ultrasound Being Researched for Brain Cancer Treatment

Focused UltrasoundThe importance of accurate neurosurgery transcription services is particularly felt by physicians treating complex conditions such as brain cancer that require consideration of various factors including the extent and growth of the tumor in order to come up with a treatment plan which inevitably involves surgery. Timely transcription helps them have a clear overview of the various medical facts and prepare an effective treatment plan.

New treatment options are being explored that could transform the treatment of brain cancer as well as other cancers and neurological conditions. This requires accurate and opportune documentation that will prove useful to all members of the care providing team.

Could ultrasound therapy become standard cancer treatment one day, without surgery or uncomfortable chemotherapy? The fictional character in John Grisham’s latest book “The Tumor” certainly received successful ultrasound treatment for his brain cancer, but the scene was set 10 years into the future.

Focused Ultrasound Treatment on its Way

But that’s not to say that this technology is unheard of. It has already been approved by the United States to treat various conditions including prostate cancer. In March 2016, a successful prostate ablation treatment was carried out with ultrasound technology. However, for other cancers including those affecting the brain, it really hasn’t been accepted as a treatment option with research being in its early stages and clinical data lacking.

Focused ultrasound has found its use only for treating small tumors at an early stage of diagnosis and those easily visible on imaging devices. But that’s not to say that the scope of treatment couldn’t improve with further research. And Grisham’s book could generate the needed interest among investors and the scientific community. Primarily, the book increases awareness of the existence of this technology and the massive potential it holds. Research has already begun into studying the potential for focused ultrasound to cure over 50 diseases.

Focused ultrasound is an amazing technology that makes use of sound waves for destroying damaged tissue deep inside the body, even without radiation therapy or using incisions. A few companies are already persevering to develop the technology further, and the release of Grisham’s book has already resulted in investors and scientists making more and more enquiries.

Device Manufacturers Being Sought

One of the ultrasound device manufacturers has received approval for applications such as treatment of uterine fibroids, benign growths in uterus walls, and bone metastases.  Another company manufactures two ultrasound devices – one for ablating prostate tissue and the other for treating soft tissue diseased cells. The company’s device used for treating prostate cancer provides a significant possibility of the MRI scan turning up no tumor signs 12 months following the treatment.

Case-by-case Coverage by Insurance Providers

The treatment is expensive, and American insurance companies pay for the procedure case-by-case. But they do not offer widespread coverage thanks to the technology being relatively untested and still being in developmental stage. The ultrasound devices have their biggest markets in countries having a solid reimbursement structure. However Grisham’s latest novel, which he has released for free, could make this technology more visible and attractive. It could ease the path for developers to get access to investor money.

In fact, the strength of the technology to penetrate the protective blood-brain barrier makes it ideal to deliver drugs directly to the brain, and can therefore treat many other neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s, according to Kevyan Farahani of the National Cancer Institute.

If the intended research and development of this revolutionary treatment takes place, neurosurgery transcription services could be dealing with focused ultrasound therapy in the not-so-distant future.

Julie Clements

About Julie Clements

Joined the MOS team in March of 2008. Julie Clements has background in the healthcare staffing arena; as well as 6 years as Director of Sales and Marketing at a 4 star resort. Julie was instrumental in the creation of the medical record review division (and new web site); and has especially grown this division along with data conversion of all kinds.