December 2018 Research Roundup

Which drugs or biological molecules might be best suited for delivery across the blood-brain barrier? Have researchers successfully developed a new technique that will make neuromodulation a clinical possibility? Could a new ablation approach reduce the time it takes to treat benign breast lesions while maintaining safety and efficacy? The answers to these questions can be found in this month’s Research Roundup.

researchroundupPhysical Blood-brain Barrier Disruption Induced by Focused Ultrasound Does Not Overcome the Transporter-mediated Efflux of Erlotinib
Using focused ultrasound plus microbubbles to open the blood-brain barrier creates the possibility for delivering various therapeutics to the brain, but which drugs or biologicals will truly be effective for this mechanism? As the field moves toward clinical trials in this area, a collaborative group of French scientists suggest that understanding the pharmacokinetics of various molecules is essential to the success of human studies. See the Journal of Controlled Release >

Noninvasive Ultrasonic Drug Uncaging Maps Whole-brain Functional Networks
Researchers from Stanford University led by Raag Airan have developed a new method using focused ultrasound for brain mapping. Their “ultrasonic drug uncaging” technique selectively turns off specific neurons in an area of the brain, leading to an increased understanding of what is controlled by that region. Could noninvasive neuromodulation soon become a reality for human translation? See Neuron >

High-intensity Focused Ultrasound in the Treatment of Breast Fibroadenomata (HIFU-F Trial)
A group of collaborators in the United Kingdom used focused ultrasound to treat 51 patients with symptomatic fibroadenomas. The treated lesions were an average of 2.6 cm in diameter and were treated with circumferential ablation. Did this approach reduce treatment time and produce clinically acceptable outcomes? See the International Journal of Hyperthermia >