The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is working with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy to identify a project to explore and assess the potential of focused ultrasound in combination with immune-based therapies to treat a variety of cancers.

Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, noninvasive, therapeutic technology that has the potential to transform the management of a variety of serious medical disorders. It has certain attributes that create the potential for a unique role in cancer immunotherapy when compared to other treatment modalities, and several preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that focused ultrasound can elicit an immune response.

“We are thrilled to work with the Parker Institute to further the current research scope of focused ultrasound and cancer immunotherapy,” says Foundation Chief Scientific Officer and Director of the Foundation’s Cancer Immunotherapy Program, Jessica Foley, PhD. “I’m excited to see where the field of immuno-oncology combination therapies will be in the next few years.”

This partnership builds on the Foundation’s robust Cancer Immunotherapy Program. In October 2016, we worked with the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) to convene more than 40 experts including focused ultrasound technical experts and clinicians, leading oncologists and immunologists, and government scientists from NIH/FDA for a Focused Ultrasound and Immunotherapy Summit. The group met to critically evaluate the current body of evidence, assess the value of ongoing work, and create a roadmap of projects to address any remaining gaps or questions. Then in June 2017, the Foundation announced a formal partnership with CRI to advance the development of new focused ultrasound and cancer immunotherapy treatments. Since then, we have established the Focused Ultrasound and Cancer Immunotherapy Grant Program to jointly fund research projects that address critical unanswered questions. The program’s first award recipient is a team from Washington University in St. Louis.

“Cancer immunotherapy is one of the central areas of interest for the Foundation’s research program,” says Foundation chairman, Neal F. Kassell, MD. “Establishing these collaborations is essential to optimize our impact in the field. Our combined expertise and resources will have an amplified effect in driving progress and ultimately improving the lives of patients.”

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