Analgesic effect of high intensity focused ultrasound therapy for unresectable pancreatic cancer

Kun Wang, Zhen Chen, Zhiqiang Meng, Junhua Lin, Zhenhua Zhou, Peng Wang, Lianyu Chen, Luming Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the pain-alleviating action, feasibility and efficacy of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for palliation of inoperable pancreatic cancer in humans. Methods: Forty patients with advanced pancreatic cancer were treated with HIFU. There were 13 patients with stage III, and 27 patients with stage IV disease. The locations of the tumours were as follows: head of pancreas in 9 patients, body and/or tail of pancreas in 31 patients. Pain relief, local tumour control rate, median survival and complications were monitored after HIFU treatment. The primary endpoint was to assess pain relief rate and pain relief time (PRT). Secondary endpoints included local progression-free survival time, overall survival (OS), and side effects. Results: There were no severe complications or adverse events related to HIFU therapy in any of the patients treated. Pain relief was achieved in 87.5% of patients, median PRT was 10 weeks. The median local progression-free survival time for all patients was 5 months. The median overall survival time was 10 months for patients with stage III disease, and 6 months for patients with stage IV disease. The median OS time, 6-month and 1-year survival rate for patients as a whole were 8 months, 58.8% and 30.1%, respectively. Conclusions: Although this study may have limitations, preliminary results demonstrate the safety of clinical application of HIFU for pancreatic cancer and reveal it to be a promising mode of treatment for palliation of pain associated with pancreatic cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-107
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Palliative care
  • pancreatic neoplasm
  • thermal ablation
  • ultrasonic therapy


Dive into the research topics of 'Analgesic effect of high intensity focused ultrasound therapy for unresectable pancreatic cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this