At the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society for Thermal Medicine (STM) on May 9th in Minneapolis, the Foundation’s Scientific Director, Jessica Foley, PhD, reviewed recent advances of focused ultrasound (FUS) therapy in oncology, the current global adoption and development landscape, and the Foundation’s strategy for advancing this field. A particular area of interest at the meeting was the use of hyperthermia – including FUS ablation – to induce an enhanced immune response for more effective treatment of cancer.
Other speakers in the special session on the use of FUS in radiation oncology included:
- Dr. Mark Hurwitz, who presented results of the Phase III Pivotal trial for MRI-guided FUS for treatment of painful bone metastases (recently published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute)
- Dr. Sunil Krishnan, who discussed the use of FUS in combination with nanoparticles for radiosensitization (including his work funded by the Foundation)
- Dr. Chandon Guha, who presented the potential of FUS to modulate the immune response to tumors
- PhD candidate Brett Fite, who discussed MRI techniques for assessing the volume of FUS ablated tissue
A particular area of focus throughout the meeting was the use of hyperthermia – including FUS ablation – either alone or in combination with current therapies to induce an enhanced immune response (immunomodulation) for more effective treatment of cancer. Several presentations and two keynote lectures by Drs. Katherine Ferrara and Gosse Adema addressed this burgeoning and exciting field.
Foley emphasized that overall “STM did a great job at spotlighting the general potential of focused ultrasound in oncology as well as its more specific potential for immunomodulation.” Furthermore, she added that “this is an area that the Foundation has also identified to have high impact potential and we are developing opportunities to advance this field toward clinical adoption.” Learn more about the state of the field for FUS immunomodulation.