Veterinary Program

The Foundation's veterinary program provides a unique opportunity for focused ultrasound to benefit both companion animals and their owners.

     

FUSF Dog Day sm
Foundation staff and their dogs celebrate launching 
the veterinary program

Veterinary medicine has often lagged behind human medicine, but that is changing as we recognize the benefits of performing clinical trials in companion animals. Our dogs and cats are exposed to the same environmental stimuli that we are, and develop many of the same diseases in a far more natural way than laboratory animals. Veterinary trials make new innovative therapies available for family pets, while simultaneously collecting data that can be used to advance human medicine.


Focused ultrasound offers several advantages over traditional treatments like surgery and radiation. It is non-invasive, which reduces the risk of infection and eliminates the need for stitches and the Elizabethan collar. Focused ultrasound can be used to ablate tissue or enhance the local delivery of therapeutic drugs. Because there is no ionizing radiation involved, treatments can be repeated if needed. Focused ultrasound has many potential applications in veterinary medicine, including but not limited to:

  • Tumor destruction
  • Drug delivery (chemotherapy & immunotherapy)
  • Pain relief for arthritis and hip dysplasia
  • Non-invasive spaying

One of the most promising applications is veterinary oncology. In addition to ablating tumor tissue and enhancing the delivery of chemotherapeutics, preclinical and human clinical data suggest that focused ultrasound can induce a potent anti-tumor immune response. This is of particular interest for animals with metastatic disease or those who are not good surgical candidates. Patients with partially resected, recurrent or surgically inaccessible tumors are also ideal candidates for treatment with focused ultrasound.

The Foundation encourages researchers and veterinarians to contact us regarding projects. We are actively seeking to promote interest in focused ultrasound within the veterinary community, and are networking with other organizations to identify new projects and co-funding opportunities.

For more information or to discuss comparative medicine trials, please contact the director of the veterinary program, Kelsie Timbie, PhD. To apply for funding, please visit our funding page and submit through the High Risk Track.