Removing tumours, whether cancerous or benign, is a painful and invasive procedure in which patients risk infection. Researchers at the University of Waterloo are using mathematical modeling to develop a system that can measure bone temperature prior to using high-intensity focused ultrasound for tumour treatment, eliminating the need for more invasive tactics. The model relies on ultrasound waves to burn off tumours. Guided by an MRI machine, the ultrasound waves induce intense heat in the tumour, but are harmless to surrounding tissue.
Waterloo’s researchers partnered with Phillips Canada and Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children to make the treatment a reality, allowing patients to avoid radiation or surgery.