Focused Ultrasound-Induced Cavitation Sensitizes Cancer Cells to Radiation Therapy and Hyperthermia

Shaonan Hu, Xinrui Zhang (Lead / Corresponding author), Michael Unger, Ina Patties, Andreas Melzer (Lead / Corresponding author), Lisa Landgraf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


Focused ultrasound (FUS) has become an important non-invasive therapy for solid tumor ablation via thermal effects. The cavitation effect induced by FUS is thereby avoided but applied for lithotripsy, support drug delivery and the induction of blood vessel destruction for cancer therapy. In this study, head and neck cancer (FaDu), glioblastoma (T98G), and prostate cancer (PC-3) cells were exposed to FUS by using an in vitro FUS system followed by single-dose X-ray radiation therapy (RT) or water bath hyperthermia (HT). Sensitization effects of short FUS shots with cavitation (FUS-Cav) or without cavitation (FUS) to RT or HT (45 °C, 30 min) were evaluated. FUS-Cav significantly increases the sensitivity of cancer cells to RT and HT by reducing long-term clonogenic survival, short-term cell metabolic activity, cell invasion, and induction of sonoporation. Our results demonstrated that short FUS treatment with cavitation has good potential to sensitize cancer cells to RT and HT non-invasively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2595
Number of pages18
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2020


  • cavitation
  • focused ultrasound
  • hyperthermia
  • radiation therapy
  • sensitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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