Clinical Research

Treatment of Uterine Fibroids with MR-HIFU

One of the first clinical applications for MR-HIFU is the noninvasive treatment of symptomatic uterine fibroids. In this treatment, women lie prone over the High-intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) transducer and ultrasound energy is used to coagulate their uterine fibroid through the pelvic wall. The treatment lasts a few hours and women are back to normal activity the same day. One system, manufactured by Insightec Inc., is approved in the United States, and Philips Healthcare is currently seeking approval for the Sonalleve in the U.S.

UT Southwestern is part of a multisite clinical trial funded by Philips Healthcare to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the Sonalleve HIFU therapy system for the treatment of uterine fibroids. The study is being run at nine sites across North America and will enroll 224 women. Approximately 30 women will be enrolled at UT Southwestern to take part in this study.

The study is open to women between the ages of 18 and 50 who are family complete and have symptomatic uterine fibroids causing them to suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding. Women will receive the investigational treatment and they will be followed up to evaluate the relief they receive from the procedure, as well as the reduction in their menstrual bleeding. 

If you are interested in this study and meet the criteria listed above, please contact our clinical trial coordinators by Email. You can learn more about this treatment for uterine fibroids as well as the clinical trial at

Treatment of Pediatric Disease

Because HIFU is noninvasive and does not involve ionizing radiation, it is very well-suited for use in pediatric medicine. We are exploring the potential applications of HIFU in pediatrics, and have initiated collaborative research efforts with Dr. Ted Laetsch in the Department of Pediatric Oncology.

Our initial targets will be relapsed osteosarcomas, and we will explore the applications of hyperthermia and targeted drug delivery for this disease. There are also exciting possibilities for the treatment of benign pediatric diseases. Recently, the first pediatric HIFU treatment took place in Toronto, Canada, at the Hospital for Sick Children. Watch a recap of the treatment of a benign bone tumor.