The Foundation’s External Research Awards program has funded a new project for the third quarter of 2018. “Noninvasive Focused Ultrasound Ablation for the Treatment of Cholangiocarcinoma Liver Tumors” by Eli Vlaisavljevich, PhD, and colleagues in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) seeks to optimize focused ultrasound-based histotripsy applications to mechanically destroy a trio of life-threatening liver cancers in preclinical models: hepatocellular carcinoma, liver metastases, and cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct) tumors.

Eli Vlaisavlievich“We’re excited to support work in histotripsy – a primarily mechanical mechanism of action – particularly in the context of these deadly liver cancers,” said the Foundation’s Director of Extramural Awards, Matt Eames, PhD. “Dr. Vlaisavljevich’s project will utilize excised human tissue samples of these liver cancers, hopefully paving the way to clinical work if results are positive.”

Because they are more difficult to treat and located in sensitive areas, the scientists also plan to develop a strategy for combining thermal ablation with histotripsy for treating the bile duct tumors.

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