Low-frequency HIFU induced cancer immunotherapy: tempting challenges and potential opportunities

Guilian Shi, Mingchuan Zhong, Fuli Ye, et al.


Immunotherapy is playing an increasingly important role in the treatment of tumors. Different from the traditional direct killingor excision therapies, immunotherapy depends on autologous immunity to kill tumor cells and tissues by activating or enhancingthe body’s immune system. Large numbers of recent studies suggest that low-frequency HIFU can not only enhance the intensityof the body’s anti-cancer immune response, but also improve the efficiency of immunotherapy drug delivery to strengthen theeffects of tumor immunotherapy. The focused ultrasound (FUS) destructs the tumor and simultaneously generates tumor debrisand tumor-associated antigens, which enhances the immunogenicity of the tumor and stimulates the immune cells, inducing thebody’s immune response. Microbubbles are clinically used as a contrast. As a matter of fact, the addition of microbubbles canreinforce the destructive effect of FUS on the tumor and activate a stronger immune response. The combined application ofultrasound and microbubbles can more effectively open the blood brain barrier (BBB), which is beneficial to improving the intakeof immune cells or immunotherapy drugs and exerting a positive influence in the lesion area. Currently, microbubbles andnanoparticles are commonly used as gene and drug carriers. Using ultrasound, the immune-related gene or antigen delivery itselfcan enhance the immune response and improve the efficacy of the immunotherapy.

Cite this article as: Shi G, Zhong M, Ye F, Zhang X. Low-frequency HIFUinduced cancer immunotherapy: tempting challenges and potentialopportunities. Cancer Biol Med. 2019; 16: 714-28. doi: 10.20892/j.issn.2095-3941.2019.0232


Immunotherapy; low-frequency HIFU; biological effect; immune response; combination therapy

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