High-power sound waves used to blast cancer cells

British doctors are developing a revolutionary new therapy for cancer and associated conditions based on the use of high-powered beams of ultrasound.

The researchers – working at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), at the Royal Marsden hospital in Sutton, outside London – have already used the technology to kill harmful tissue deep inside the bodies of patients suffering from metastatic bone lesions – without recourse to any form of surgery. And in future, doctors believe they will also use ultrasound to zap prostate, breast and other tumours. “This technology has immense potential,” said Professor Gail ter Haar, who is based at the institute.

An example of the technology’s power is provided by Moira Baker (not her real name), a 52-year-old former teacher who lives in Kew, London. Two years ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Shortly afterwards she was also found to have bone lesions caused by the metastatic spread of her cancer. Baker received chemotherapy that has left her in remission for her condition. However, her bone lesions continued to cause considerable pain which standard treatments, including radiotherapy, failed to alleviate. So she was selected to be treated with ultrasound to blast the cells in her bones that were triggering her pain.

Shattering cancer with resonant frequencies

Anthony Holland: Associate Professor, Director of Music Technology, Skidmore College. DMA, MM, MM, BM; President: Novobiotronics Inc. [a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable and educational company]. Discovered the ability of Oscillating Pulsed Electric Fields (OPEF) to destroy cancer cells and MRSA in laboratory experiments. Expert in custom digital electronic signal design, synthesis and analysis for biological effects. Member: Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS), European Bioelectromagnetics Association (EBEA). Postdoctoral work: Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) Stanford University. Advanced Digital Synthesis and Analysis studies with: Max Mathews (the ‘ Father of Computer Music’), John Chowning (founding Director of CCRMA, Electronic Composer and Inventor (famed FM Synthesis Patent); Jean-Claude Risset (Electronic Composer and founding Director of the Digital Synthesis Division of the internationally renowned IRCAM center, Paris, France); John Pierce: former Director of Sound Division: Bell Laboratories.