Various kinds of image-guided techniques have been successfully applied in the last years for the treatment of tumours, as alternative to surgical resection. High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a novel, totally non-invasive, image-guided technique that allows for achieving tissue destruction with the application of focused ultrasound at high intensity. This technique has been successfully applied for the treatment of a large variety of diseases, including oncological and non-oncological diseases. One of the most fascinating aspects of image-guided ablations, and particularly of HIFU, is the reported possibility of determining a sort of stimulation of the immune system, with an unexpected “systemic” response to treatments designed to be “local”. In the present article the mechanisms of action of HIFU are described, and the main clinical applications of this technique are reported, with a particular focus on the immune-stimulation process that might originate from tumour ablations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging