The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation (FUSF) are pleased to announce that they have jointly selected a Focused Ultrasound-Enhanced Cancer Immunotherapy project for co-funding. This is the first grant awarded since the two organizations established their formal cancer immunotherapy partnership.
The recipient, Gavin Dunn, MD, PhD, is a neurosurgeon with a background in immunology who will work with Hong Chen, PhD, a focused ultrasound expert, Allegra Petti, PhD, an expert in cancer genomics, and their strong team at Washington University (WU) in St Louis. The study, entitled “The Immunologic and Genomic Effects of Focused Ultrasound in Glioblastoma,” will investigate which types of focused ultrasound best induce increased tumor exposure to the immune system and how the sound waves affect the immune cells within the tumor. The end goal is to use the data to more rationally design clinical trials that combine ultrasound and specific immune-based treatments.
“There were several clear strengths to this proposal, including the team, their sophisticated immunological analysis, and their use of liquid biopsy,” said Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD, CRI’s Chief Executive Officer and Director of Scientific Affairs. Jessica Foley, PhD, the Foundation’s Chief Scientific Officer, added, “The liquid biopsy technique is a strong point of analysis in this study, and WU’s use of a clinical system (Profound Medical’s Sonalleve) should enable more rapid clinical translation.”
“Glioblastoma is the most aggressive brain cancer with an average survival of 15 months, and there is an urgent need for new treatment strategies,” said Dunn. “Our proposal may provide a compelling foundation for novel focused ultrasound-based immunotherapies and liquid biopsy in glioblastoma, a type of cancer in need of therapeutic and diagnostic advances.”
The two-year award program was created to advance the latest developments in focused ultrasound and cancer immunotherapy toward new immune-based treatments for a variety of cancers. For project updates and information on future award announcements, subscribe to our newsletter.
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