- Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have developed and tested a new therapeutic ultrasound treatment platform that improves two types of cancer immunotherapy.
- They named the system “MUSIC,” or Microbubble-assisted, UltraSound-guided Immunotherapy of Cancer.
- MUSIC can be used to image and burst microbubbles that have accumulated on tumors.
Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have developed and tested a new therapeutic ultrasound treatment platform that improves two types of cancer immunotherapy: the antitumor immune response and the response to checkpoint inhibitors.
They named the platform “MUSIC,” which is derived from Microbubble-assisted, UltraSound-guided Immunotherapy of Cancer. With its integrated ultrasound capabilities, the MUSIC platform can first be used to image the accumulation of microbubbles on tumors – and then used to oscillate and burst the accumulated microbubbles. Loosely translated as “sound pores,” sonoporation uses ultrasound energy to open “pores” in cellular membranes that allow the transfer of new molecules (or genes) into a cell.
The marriage of sonoporation with cancer immunotherapy is novel in the way that the MD Anderson team, led by Wen Jiang, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiation oncology, designed MUSIC to deliver molecules that activate the immune system. During preclinical testing of the system, Dr. Jiang and his team observed a 60% complete tumor eradication rate in breast cancer models, significantly improved antitumor responses (primary tumor control with decreased systemic progression) and minimal toxicity effects in other experiments, and superior survival in a combination therapy group.
“Our findings show that the MUSIC strategy is capable of paving the way toward novel image-guided strategies for targeted cancer immunotherapy,” said Dr. Jiang “Although the majority of cancer immunotherapies have focused on boosting the adaptive branch of the body’s immune system, there has been a growing realization that both the innate and adaptive branches of the body’s immune system need to be engaged to generate optimal antitumoral immunity. This understanding has led to the development of new immunotherapies that target the regulators of innate immune systems…”
The highly technical aspects of this project have been published in Nature Nanotechnology. The article is titled, “Cancer Immunotherapy Based on Image-Guided STING Activation by Nucleotide Nanocomplex-Decorated Ultrasound Microbubbles.”
See the MD Anderson Press Release >
See Nature Nanotechnology >