2023-10-06 Jim Lynch
The process [of histotripsy] uses a transducer—which converts electricity into sound—to deliver ultrasound waves to a malignant mass at a precise location. When the waves hit gasses inside cancerous cells, they generate clouds of tiny bubbles through a process known as cavitation.
Pulsing sound waves causes the millimeter-sized bubble clouds to repeatedly grow and collapse. On an ultrasound monitor, it can look like bubbles from boiling water—quickly rising and falling along the surface in your pot.
In the past, researchers saw the creation of bubbles through ultrasound as “uncontrollable,” something to be avoided. Histotripsy, however, generates mechanical energy to activate those bubble clouds and break up the tumor cells’ structure, turning it into a liquid called acellular lysate.
histotripsy foils cancer’s cloaking efforts by destroying its cell walls, leaving the tumor antigens in plain sight for the body’s immune system.