[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
October 1961

Human Pituitary Irradiation with Focused Ultrasound: An Initial Report on Effect in Advanced Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, State University of Iowa College of Medicine; and The Biophysical Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.

Arch Surg. 1961;83(4):620-633. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300160132016

The purpose of this presentation is to offer an initial report upon human anterior pituitary irradiation with focussed high-intensity ultrasound. Our efforts were prompted by the ever-recurring need for improved palliation in disseminated and advanced breast cancer, and our intent was to alter favorably the growth pattern of advancing mammary cancer through hormonal changes. The study included searches for objective changes in the neoplastic processes, scrutiny of certain physiological sequelae after such irradiation, and deliberations upon improvement in technique and methods. We believe this to be the first human study using this modality.

Primary surgical or radiological therapeutic measures in breast cancer meet failure with an appreciable predictable frequency.1 The most effective palliation for disseminated cancer is obtained then through hormonal manipulation by the administration of exogenous drugs and/or ablative endocrine organ procedures. During the past decade the use of the latter has become more frequent. In techniques of