Article Abstract

Clinical study of ultrasound and microbubbles for enhancing chemotherapeutic sensitivity of malignant tumors in digestive system

Authors: Yanjie Wang, Yan Li, Kun Yan, Lin Shen, Wei Yang, Jifang Gong, Ke Ding


Objective: To explore the safety of ultrasound and microbubbles for enhancing the chemotherapeutic sensitivity of malignant tumors in the digestive system in a clinical trial, as well as its efficacy.
Methods: From October 2014 to June 2016, twelve patients volunteered to participate in this study. Eleven patients had hepatic metastases from tumors of the digestive system, and one patient had pancreatic carcinoma. According to the mechanical index (MI) in the ultrasound field, patients were classified into four groups with MIs of 0.4, 0.6, 0.8 and 1.0. Within half an hour after chemotherapy, patients underwent ultrasound scanning with ultrasound microbubbles (SonoVue) to enhance the efficacy of chemotherapy. All adverse reactions were recorded and were classified in 4 grades according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.03 (CTCAE V4.03). Tumor responses were evaluated by the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1 criteria. All the patients were followed up until progression.
Results: All the adverse reactions recorded were level 1 or level 2. No local pain occurred in any of the patients. Among all the adverse reactions, fever might be related to the treatment with ultrasound combined with microbubbles. Six patients had stable disease (SD), and one patient had a partial response (PR) after the first cycle of treatment. At the end of follow-up, tumor progression was restricted to the original sites, and no new lesions had appeared.
Conclusions: Our preliminary data showed the potential role of a combined treatment with ultrasound and microbubbles in enhancing the chemotherapeutic sensitivity of malignant tumors of the digestive system. This technique is safe when the MI is no greater than 1.0.

Keywords: Clinical study; sonoporation; microbubbles; chemotherapy; digestive system