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New Research Shows MR-Guided Ultrasound May Treat Breast Cancer

Researchers may use non-invasive heat treatment to treat breast cancer.

New research was presented at the Radiological Society of America's annual meeting. It indicated that it may be possible to treat breast cancer with an ultrasound that uses magnetic resonance (MR) guidance to target the tumor and destroy the growth using heat.

"In the treatment stage, we are able to precisely visualize where the energy is having an effect and to measure exactly the rise in temperature," Alessandro Napoli, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of radiology at Sapienza University in Rome, said in a statement. "Temperature monitoring is particularly important, since too low a temperature is ineffective and too high a temperature may be dangerous."

Researchers from the study took a sample size of 12 patients to determine the safety level of the procedure. Before a biopsy of the lymph nodes was conducted and the tumors were surgically removed, each person underwent a single session of the treatment. In a post-op evaluation there was an absence of the "residual disease" in 10 of the study participants.

As with most medical innovations, additional testing must be completed before the MR-guided ultrasound can be used on its own to treat breast cancer.

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