Objective: To investigate whether high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) combined with microbubbles enhances the therapeutic effects of chemotherapy. Materials and Methods: A pancreatic cancer xenograft model was established using BALB/c nude mice and luciferase-expressing human pancreatic cancer cells. Mice were randomly assigned to five groups according to treatment: control (n = 10), gemcitabine alone (GEM; n = 12), HIFU with microbubbles (HIFU + MB, n = 11), combined HIFU and gemcitabine (HIGEM; n = 12), and HIGEM + MB (n = 13). After three weekly treatments, apoptosis rates were evaluated using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling assay in two mice per group. Tumor volume and bioluminescence were monitored using high-resolution 3D ultrasound imaging and in vivo bioluminescence imaging for eight weeks in the remaining mice. Results: The HIGEM + MB group showed significantly higher apoptosis rates than the other groups (p < 0.05) and exhibited the slowest tumor growth. From week 5, the tumor-volume-ratio relative to the baseline tumor volume was significantly lower in the HIGEM + MB group than in the control, GEM, and HIFU + MB groups (p < 0.05). Despite visible distinction, the HIGEM and HIGEM + MB groups showed no significant differences. Conclusion: High-intensity focused ultrasound combined with microbubbles enhances the therapeutic effects of gemcitabine chemotherapy in a pancreatic cancer xenograft model.
- Animal study
- High-intensity focused ultrasound
- Pancreatic cancer