April 19, 2024 • 2 Min

Using Ultrasound to Enhance the Effectiveness of Chemotherapy


Polorotyy, Wikimedia Commons

Can a new application of ultrasound make standard chemotherapy more effective in advanced pancreatic cancer patients?

Researchers are continually looking for ways to make pancreatic tumors more sensitive to chemotherapy. This clinical trial is testing the use of a technique called sonoporation, or contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), to make the cell membrane more permeable to drugs.  

What Is Sonoporation?

Ultrasound uses high-energy sound waves for imaging the body. Sonoporation combines ultrasound with a microbubble contrast agent resulting in enhanced diagnostic imaging and therapeutic applications with minimal side effects. It has been shown that sonoporation increases drug delivery to tumor cells. During the treatment, the ultrasound waves, applied at specific target areas, cause the microbubbles to expand and contract along the cell membranes, increasing tissue permeability and hence creating openings for the chemotherapy to enter the cells.   

Joining the Trial

This trial is for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer—stage III or stage IV—who are newly diagnosed. Participants will be randomized into either of two groups. In arm I, participants will be treated with either the gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel combination or FOLFIRINOX along with the sonoporation technique. In arm II, participants will receive only either type of chemotherapy.  

Researchers are looking for the safety and effectiveness of the sonoporation technique, including an increase in survival.

We encourage you to consult your physicians for clinical trials that may be right for you. The website provides more details about this trial as well as many others. You can visit the EmergingMed Trial Finder for a list of all active pancreatic cancer clinical trials.

What new treatments and clinical trials are available to me?

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