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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in International Journal of Hyperthermia, Volume 31, Issue 3, May 2015, Pages 260-271.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.3109/02656736.2015.1006690 Copyright © Taylor & Francis


PURPOSE: Focused ultrasound (FUS) is a modality with rapidly expanding applications across the field of medicine. Treatment of bone lesions with FUS including both benign and malignant tumours has been an active area of investigation. Recently, as a result of a successful phase III trial, magnetic resonance-guided FUS is now a standardised option for treatment of painful bone metastases. This report reviews the clinical applications amenable to treatment with FUS and provides background on FUS and image guidance techniques, results of clinical studies, and future directions.

METHODS: A comprehensive literature search and review of abstracts presented at the recently completed fourth International Focused Ultrasound Symposium was performed. Case reports and older publications revisited in more recent studies were excluded. For clinical studies that extend beyond bone tumours, only the data regarding bone tumours are presented.

RESULTS: Fifteen studies assessing the use of focused ultrasound in treatment of primary benign bone tumours, primary malignant tumours, and metastatic tumours meeting the search criteria were identified. For these clinical studies the responders group varied within 91-100%, 85-87% and 64-94%, respectively. Major complications were reported in the ranges 0%, 0-28% and 0-4% for primary benign, malignant and metastatic tumours, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Image-guided FUS is both safe and effective in the treatment of primary and secondary tumours. Additional phase III trials are warranted to more fully define the role of FUS in treatment of both benign and malignant bone tumours.

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