Investigator Profile: Q&A with Joan Vidal-Jove, MD, PhD

Dr. Joan Vidal-Jove is the Head of Surgical Oncology at Barcelona University Hospital and is currently studying focused ultrasound for pancreatic cancer. His early research indicates that FUS with chemotherapy may have the ability to extend survival of patients with unresectable tumors. To learn more about Dr. Vidal-Jove’s extensive work in focused ultrasound, we interviewed him for a brief Investigator Profile:


Joan Vidal Jove 300Q. When and how did you become interested in focused ultrasound?
A. I became interested in focused ultrasound around 2008 when I realized that we could treat the complexity of some of my advanced cancer patients with less invasive treatments. As a surgical oncologist, I became frustrated when the diagnostic tools revealed that my gastroininal cancer patients were beyond surgical resection because of late diagnosis. At that point focused ultrasound appeared as an excellent tool to downgrade some patients by means of obtaining a significant ablation of the primary tumor. Pancreatic cancer was the best model in that stage.

Q. What are your areas of research in focused ultrasound?
A. Pancreatic tumors, primary or metastatic liver tumors, and soft tissue desmoid tumors.

Q. How is focused ultrasound used at your institution? Do you perform research and commercial treatments? For what diseases?
A. We do mainly clinical research and treatments. We have a uterine fibroid and gynecological benign tumors unit that belongs to the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, and a Surgical Oncology Unit that treats pancreatic, liver, and soft tissue tumors.

Q. How large is your research/treatment team?
A. Very small, actually. We are 5 clinicians and 1 research fellow.

Q. Who do you collaborate with at your institution?
A. The GYN department, the Radiology Department, the General Surgery Department, and the Statistics and Research Unit.

Jove Infographic2Q. What focused ultrasound research are you planning for the future?
A. We are planning a multicenter trial in pancreatic cancer, and I would like to start a trial in soft tissue desmoid tumors.

Q. What do you see as the most important use of focused ultrasound?
A. Benign uterine fibroids and some malignant tumors, pancreatic, liver, are a reality at present. I foresee brain tumors, neurologic diseases, and immunotherapeutic uses as the next exciting goals.

Key FUS Publications
Vidal Jové J, García Bernal M, Perich E, Alvarez del Castillo M. Complete Responses alter Hyperthermic Ablation by Ultrasound Guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Plus Systemic Chemotherapy for Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer. Conference Papers in Medicine, Vol. 2013 art. ID 586769, 4 pages, Hindawi Publishing Corporation. May 2013.

Vidal-Jove J; Perich E; Jaen A, Alvarez del Castillo M. Hyperthermic ablation by ultrasound-guided high intensity focused ultrasound (USgHIFU) plus systemic chemotherapy (SC) for locally advanced pancreatic cancer: the secret of longer survival. J Therap Ultrasound 2014, 2 (suppl 1) A6.

Vidal-Jove J; Perich E; Jaen A, Alvarez del Castillo M. Ultrasound guided high intensity focused ultrasound for malignant tumors: The Spanish experience of survival advantage in stage III and IV pancreatic cancer. Ultrason Sonochem 2015, May 27 pii: S1350-4177 (15)00155-8.