Role of Ultrasonography in Cancer Theranostic Applications

Author(s): Karunanithi Rajamanickam, Joy Sebastian Prakash J

Ultrasound imaging technique involves the use of sound waves and their echoes to produce a picture of internal organs or masses. An ultrasound transducer emits sound waves and picks up the echoes as they bounce off from the body tissue interfaces. These echoes are converted into images to display on the monitor. This imaging modality is completely non-invasive, helps in real time monitoring, it is a cost-effective, portable and versatile instrument with a wide range of clinical utility including characterizing lesions in the liver, urogenital tract, various soft tissues etc. With the introduction of micro-bubbles intravascular structures are examined based on their vascularity. In the context of cancer imaging, ultrasound is used for numerous routine screening examinations; it assists x-ray mammography, it has the ability to characterize liver lesions, with respect to urogenital tract, it helps to detect non-symptomatic cancer in prostate, uterus, ovaries, bladder and kidney. Apart from these, it helps to characterize lymph nodes by its architectural changes and shape, also helps to diagnose and staging of thyroid and neck cancers. This review gives an overview of the history and the current scenario of targeted ultrasound imaging of cancers of different tissues.

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