Breast cancer remains an important disease, adversely affecting a large population of women. The number of women diagnosed with breast cancer has continued to rise. While the majority of patients survive the disease, minimizing any disability or disfigurement as a result of treatment is very important to the patient's future qualty of life. Despite more sensitive MRI methods to detect breast lesions and new minimally invasive conservative forms of therapy, there still remains significant room for improvement in both imaging and therapy. MRI-guided high intensity focused ultrasound (MRgHIFU) has the potential to provide completely non-invasive therapy of localized lesions in the breast. This proposal addresses the remaining limitations that keep MRgHIFU from achieving its potential to non-invasively treat localized breast cancer. Building on an innovative breast-specific MRgHIFU system developed in an academic/industrial partnership led by scientists in the Utah Center for Advanced Imaging Research, the College of Engineering, and School of Medicine, this project will validate the system for rapid, efficacious, and safe non-invasive treatment of localized breast lesions with MRgHIFU. The project consists of four Specific Aims: 1) develop patient-specific methods of ultrasound beam aberration correction to improve ultrasound focus localization in the heterogeneous breast; 2) develop efficient methods for temperature measurement in the adipose and aqueous tissues of the heterogeneous breast to properly monitor the MRgHIFU treatment procedure thereby ensuring complete tumor ablation and avoiding unwanted tissue damage; 3) demonstrate safety and efficacy of tumor and treatment margin ablation in an animal model by proving the system can achieve complete ablation in 90% of all subjects without violating safety constraints; and 4) evaluate the developed ultrasound beam aberration correction and temperature measurement techniques in vivo in humans to demonstrate that the developed techniques are effective in human breasts. The innovations proposed in this project are critical for the safe non-invasive treatment of breast cancer with MRgHIFU and will lay the foundation for a successful phase I clinical trial. This new technology will provide a new, non-invasive treatment option for women with localized breast cancer.
This project will develop missing crucial capabilities to enable the application of MRI-guided high intensity focused ultrasound therapy to the heterogeneous human breast and perform preclinical studies of system safety and efficacy. This new technology will provide a new, non-invasive treatment option for women with localized breast cancer.
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