A feasibility study of soft embalmed human breast tissue for preclinical trials of HIFU-preliminary results

Joyce Joy, Yang Yang, Colin Purdie, Roos Eisma, Andreas Melzer, Sandy Cochran, Sarah Vinnicombe

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    156 Downloads (Pure)


    Breast cancer is the commonest cancer in women in the UK, accounting for 30% of all new cancers in women, with an estimated 49,500 new cases in 20101. With the widespread negative publicity around over-diagnosis and over-treatment of low risk breast cancers, interest in the application of non-invasive treatments such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guided high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has increased. Development has begun of novel US transducers and platforms specifically designed for use with breast lesions, so as to improve the range of breast lesions that can be safely treated. However, before such transducers can be evaluated in patients in clinical trials, there is a need to establish their efficacy. A particular issue is the accuracy of temperature monitoring of FUS with MRI in the breast, since the presence of large amounts of surrounding fat can hinder temperature measurement. An appropriate anatomical model that imposes similar physical constraints to the breast and that responds to FUS in the same way would be extremely advantageous. The aim of this feasibility study is to explore the use of Thiel embalmed cadaveric tissue for these purposes. We report here the early results of laboratory-based experiments sonicating dissected breast samples from a Thiel embalmed soft human cadaver with high body mass index (BMI). A specially developed MRI compatible chamber and sample holder was developed to secure the sample and ensure reproducible sonications at the transducer focus. The efficacy of sonication was first studied with chicken breast and porcine tissue. The experiments were then repeated with the dissected fatty breast tissue samples from the soft-embalmed human cadavers. The sonicated Thiel breast tissue was examined histopathologically, which confirmed the absence of any discrete lesion. To investigate further, fresh chicken breast tissue was embalmed and the embalmed tissue was sonicated with the same parameters. The results confirmed the inability to produce a discrete lesion in any of the Thiel embalmed samples.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings from the 14th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound, ISTU 2014
    Place of PublicationUnited States
    PublisherAIP Publishing
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Electronic)9780735414891
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2017
    Event14th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound, ISTU 2014 - Las Vegas, United States
    Duration: 2 Apr 20145 Apr 2014

    Publication series

    NameAIP Conference Proceedings
    PublisherAIP Publishing
    ISSN (Print)0094-243X
    ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


    Conference14th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound, ISTU 2014
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityLas Vegas

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Physics and Astronomy


    Dive into the research topics of 'A feasibility study of soft embalmed human breast tissue for preclinical trials of HIFU-preliminary results'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this