Development of scanned focussed ultrasound hyperthermia: Clinical response evaluation clinical response evaluation

Paul M. Harari, Kullervo H. Hynynen, Robert B. Roemer, Dennis P. Anhalt Msee, David S. Shimm, Baldassarre Stea, J. Robert Cassady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Selective heating of irregularly shaped tumors at depth can now be accomplished through focussing and controlled scanning of energy deposition patterns by ultrasound. A scanned focussed ultrasound (SFUS) hyperthermia system developed at the University of Arizona has been used to deliver 220 treatments to 87 tumors in 71 patients with extracranial malignancies between October 1986 and May 1990. Patients received an average of three SFUS hyperthermia treatments, spaced weekly, during ongoing fractionated radiotherapy. The most common anatomic sites treated were the pelvis (22 patients), chest wall or breast (14), neck (8), and axilla (7), while the most common histologies were adenocarcinoma (36), squamous cell carcinoma (11), and melanoma (10). Concurrent radiotherapy was delivered (range 1000-7640 cGy, mean 4320 cGy) to 67 SFUS hyperthermia patients; 4 received concomitant chemotherapy. Tumor volumes ranged from 1-2100 cubic centimeters (mean 325 cc), and 75% were located at depths > 3 cm from skin. A 62% overall response rate was observed, with 22% of treated tumors demonstrating a complete response (defined as complete disappearance of treated tumor), and 40% exhibiting a partial response (defined as >- 50% reduction in tumor volume). Dramatic local pain reduction was achieved in 42% of the tumors treated. The acute tolerance of SFUS hyperthermia was quite good, and chronic toxicities (persistent skin blisters/burns) were identified in two patients. The versatility of the SFUS system is discussed, as well as its future potential for improving control of advanced loco-regional malignancies treated with curative intent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-840
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1991


  • Hyperthermia
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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