Optimization of microbubble enhancement of hyperthermia for cancer therapy in an in vivo breast tumour model

Deepa Sharma, Holliday Cartar, Niki Law, Anoja Giles, Golnaz Farhat, Michael Oelze, Gregory J. Czarnota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have demonstrated that exposing human breast tumour xenografts to ultrasound-stimulated microbubbles enhances tumour cell death and vascular disruption resulting from hyperthermia treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of varying the hyperthermia and ultrasound-stimulated microbubbles treatment parameters in order to optimize treatment bioeffects. Human breast cancer (MDA-MB-231) tumour xenografts in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice were exposed to varying microbubble concentrations (0%, 0.1%, 1% or 3% v/v) and ultrasound sonication durations (0, 1, 3 or 5 min) at 570 kPa peak negative pressure and central frequency of 500 kHz. Five hours later, tumours were immersed in a 43C water bath for varying hyperthermia treatment durations (0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 minutes). Results indicated a significant increase in tumour cell death reaching 64 ± 5% with combined treatment compared to 11 ± 3% and 26 ± 5% for untreated and USMB-only treated tumours, respectively. A similar but opposite trend was observed in the vascular density of the tumours receiving the combined treatment. Optimal treatment parameters were found to consist of 40 minutes of heat with low power ultrasound treatment microbubble parameters of 1 minute of sonification and a 1% microbubble concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0237372
JournalPloS one
Issue number8 August
StatePublished - Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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