As physicians discover breast cancers at earlier stages, many women seek therapies that are effective yet non-invasive and non-scarring. Allison Payne, PhD, and her colleagues have developed a magnetic resonance-guided, focused ultrasound system specifically designed for breast tumor therapy. Steered by the physician, this system delivers high-intensity ultrasound waves to a precise area inside the breast, where non-invasively destroy malignant tissues are non-invasively destroyed with heat. This system was designed specifically for the patient’s comfort, with her laying on a customized table and her breast suspended in a treatment cylinder. Comfort is important because the patient may be inside the MRI machine for more than an hour. An additional innovation was the development of magnetic resonance imaging techniques that monitor, in real time, the temperature increase caused by the high-intensity ultrasound within the treatment tissues. This system is currently undergoing clinical trials and is with a goal of ultimately gaining FDA approval. For patients who are medically-eligible, this technology represents a significant advance in breast cancer therapy.
Design and characterization of a laterally mounted phased-array transducer breast-specific MRgHIFU device with integrated 11-channel receiver array. Payne, A, Merrill R, Minalga E, Vyas U, de Bever J, Todd N, Hadley R, Dumont E, Neumayer L, Christensen D, Roemer R, Parker D. Med Phys. 2012 March;39(3):1552.
An 11-channel radio frequency phased array coil for magnetic resonance guided high-intensity focused ultrasound of the breast. Minalga E, Payne A, Merrill R, Todd N, Vijayakumar S, Kholmovski E, Parker DL, Hadley JR. Magn Reson Med. 2013 January;69(1):295.
In vivo evaluation of a breast-specific magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound system in a goat udder model.Payne A, Todd N, Minalga E, Wang Y, Diakite M, Hadley R, Merrill R, Factor R, Neumayer L, Parker DL. Med Phys. 2013 July;40(7):073302.
A breast-specific MR guided focused ultrasound platform and treatment protocol: first-in-human technical evaluation. A Payne A, Merrill R, Minalga E, Hadley JR, Odéen H, Hofstetter LW, Johnson S, Tunon de Lara C, Auriol S, Recco S, Dumont E, Parker DL, Palussiere J. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2021 Mar;68(3):893.
Press Releases and Media:
University of Utah Health: “Surgery with Sound: Star Trek Medicine for Breast Tumors“