The Foundation’s Focused Ultrasound-mediated Targeted Drug Delivery Program (FUS-TDD) has announced the formation of a Core Stakeholders Group that includes many of today’s leading researchers and experts:
- Matt Dreher, Ph.D., NIH, Bethesda, MD
- Keyvan Farahani, Ph.D., NIH, Bethesda, MD
- Katherine Ferrara, Ph.D., UC Davis, Davis, CA
- Holger Gruell, Ph.D., Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
- Joo Ha Hwang, M.D., Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle
- Kullervo Hynynen, Ph.D., Sunnybrook, Toronto, Canada
- Alexander L. (Sasha) Klibanov, Ph.D., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
- Joseph Kost, Ph.D., Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
- King Li, M.D., M.B.A., Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX
- Nathan McDannold, Ph.D., Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
- Andreas Melzer, Ph.D., University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
- Chrit Moonen, Ph.D., University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
- Rich Price, Ph.D., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
- Brad Wood, M.D., NIH, Bethesda, MD
According to Joy Polefone, Ph.D., director of the FUS-TDD Program, core stakeholders will form a working group and invite participation by ad hoc attendees when needed. Initially, the group will identify key research questions and gating factors to developing clinical applications as well as two to four high potential clinical applications. The group will also help develop research road maps for those applications and serve as implementation leaders within their areas of expertise.
The FUS-TDD Program is aimed at accelerating the availability of new, noninvasive patient treatments that precisely deliver drugs.
Expected to be used for many chronic and life-threatening conditions, FUS-TDD treatments will combine the advanced imaging techniques of MR-guidance with the thermal or mechanical energy of focused ultrasound and new drug transport systems. Instead of dispersing therapeutic agents throughout a patient’s body, the treatments will deliver drugs to specific diseased tissue. For example, targeted chemotherapy treatments will deposit drugs to cancerous tissue and not impact healthy tissue, eliminating most if not all of the systemic side effects associated with current approaches.
The Foundation’s FUS-TDD program has three long-term goals: 1) identify the clinical applications that will benefit most from MR guidance; 2) develop a research roadmap for clinical applications for MR-guided FUS-TDD; and, 3) spur research by fostering collaboration among academic researchers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, focused ultrasound companies and the clinical community.