The Foundation’s External Awards Program has selected a new project to fund in the first quarter of 2019. John Eisenbrey, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology at Thomas Jefferson University, will lead a study titled, “Microbubble cavitation sensitization of hepatocellular carcinoma to radioembolization therapy.”
This clinical trial will allow Dr. Eisenbrey and his team to compare the current standard-of-care treatment for patients with liver cancer to the standard-of-care plus ultrasound-triggered microbubble destruction. The team is hoping to measure improved tumor response, improved patient response, and an overall systemic response from the added treatment.
Ultrasound-sensitive microbubbles perfuse into hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) following radioembolization and are readily detected and destroyed using focused ultrasound. Our group has demonstrated that ultrasound-triggered microbubble destruction (UTMD) in HCC following radioembolization successfully improves both tumor response and long-term patient outcomes. The goal of this proposed project is to expand on these findings, while also determining the mode of microbubble cavitation, and monitoring systemic response using alpha fetal protein (AFP; a blood marker of HCC). Patients providing informed consent will be randomized to receive radioembolization alone (standard of care), or radioembolization combined with UTMD 2-4 hours, 1 week, and 2 weeks post treatment. Tumor response (using mRECIST), patient response (using time to next intervention), and systemic response (using AFP) will be compared between the standard of care and UTMD groups.