March 2017 Research Roundup



Clinical results for focused ultrasound treatment of Parkinson’s tremor are now being presented and published. A case series recently conducted at Rambam Medical Center in Israel is among the first to report results. Focused ultrasound research is also showing promise for priming tumor tissue for enhanced uptake of nanoparticles in Korea and for imagining new treatments for spinal cord injury in China.

Magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for tremor: a report of 30 Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor cases
A series of 30 patients with medication resistant essential tremor, Parkinson’s tremor, or a combination were treated with focused ultrasound VIM thalamotomy at Rambam Medical Center in Israel. With 1 to 24 months of follow-up, the group found improved clinical rating and quality of life scores along with a superior adverse events profile as compared to other surgical treatment options. See the article in the Journal of Neurosurgery.

Extracellular matrix remodeling in vivo for enhancing tumor-targeting efficiency of nanoparticle drug carriers using the pulsed high intensity focused ultrasound
A collaborative research group from several centers in Korea used pulsed focused ultrasound in a mouse tumor model to improve nanoparticle penetration and targeting in tumors with dense and thick extracellular matrix. Their protocol increased blood flow, decreased collagen, and resulted in a 2.5-fold increase in the rate of nanoparticle penetration. See the article in the Journal of Controlled Release.

Nerve growth factor delivery by ultrasound-mediated nanobubble destruction as a treatment for acute spinal cord injury in rats
Scientists at Chongqing Medical University in China used focused ultrasound and nanobubbles to deliver nerve growth factor to rats with spinal cord injuries. The treatment significantly increased the expression of the nerve growth factor in the target tissues, attenuated histological injury, decreased neuron loss, and inhibited neuronal apoptosis in these rats. See the article in the International Journal of Nanomedicine.