The 14th annual meeting of the European Association of Neuro-Oncology (EANO) was held in Lyon, France, September 19-22, 2019. More than 800 participants from over 50 countries convened with the goal to improve the treatment of patients with various neurological malignancies.
The program highlighted the latest hot topics in treating the brain, with emphasis on brain tumor markers and mutational changes, targeted treatments, clinical trials, and novel developments in immune oncology.
Various lunch sessions provided a forum for panels of experts to announce groundbreaking research, share their experiences, and answer audience questions.
More than 150 people gathered at a lunch session sponsored by CarThera to hear about this novel technology. Based in Paris, France, CarThera is testing their SonoCloud device in clinical trials for patients with recurrent glioblastoma. SonoCloud is unique in that it contains ultrasound transducer(s) implanted into the skull during a regular debulking surgery between the closed dura matter and the skin. The implanted device is activated repeatedly prior to each chemotherapy session. Low-intensity ultrasound is used to open the BBB in the region of the tumor to deliver chemotherapy in effective concentrations. Preclinical studies have demonstrated safe and long-term disruption of the BBB with increased concentrations of chemotherapy delivered to the targeted areas. Clinical studies have furthermore demonstrated the safety and long-term tolerance of transient disruption of the BBB up to 12 times (once a month) on the same patient as well as preliminary signs of efficacy (NCT02253212 / Idbaih et al. 2019). A larger version of the SonoCloud device, designed to sonicate the tumor and surrounding infiltrative region, is currently under clinical evaluation in France and in the US (NCT03744026). At the meeting session, representatives from CarThera and several KOLs including Roger Stupp (Chicago), John deGroot (Houston), Jean-Yves Delattre (Paris), and Jörg Tonn (Munich) gave perspectives on this new approach.
“Sessions such as this are critical in educating clinicians about this emerging technology,” said Suzanne LeBlang, MD, the Foundation’s Director of Clinical Relationships. “At the end of the session, there was much interest in the potential of such ultrasound technique to increase the efficacy of drugs that have previously failed in clinical trials due to their inability to cross the BBB. Attendees were also excited about ultrasound’s potential as a new way to deliver additional therapeutics.”
Dr. LeBlang also met with the CarThera team, including Scientific Director Michael Canney, PhD, and Founder Alexandre Carpentier, MD, PhD, to review the company’s milestones and discuss a roadmap for the near future including potential collaborations with the Foundation.