Focused ultrasound is solving unique problems for cancer researchers. The following recent articles all demonstrate interesting and nontraditional ways that the technology is being used in preclinical cancer studies for immunotherapy and nanoparticle delivery:
In Low Intensity Focused Ultrasound (LOFU)-mediated Acoustic Immune Priming and Ablative Radiation Therapy for in situ Tumor Vaccines, Chandan Guha, MBBS, PhD, and his group at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center developed parameters for priming the immune system before ablative radiation therapy. They sought to determine whether the technique would generate an antitumor vaccine, induce the immune system, and provide a viable solid tumor treatment option in mice with breast and prostate cancer cell lines. Did they succeed? See Scientific Reports >
In High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Triggers Immune Sensitization of Refractory Murine Neuroblastoma to Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy, an international public/private collaborative group led by Peter Kim, MD, sought to determine whether focused ultrasound could mechanically fractionate tumors to transform an immunologically ‘cold’ tumor into a responsive ‘hot’ tumor. Could ablating less than 2% of a tumor induce a systemic immune response in a mouse model of neuroblastoma? See Clinical Cancer Research >
In Focused Ultrasound Preconditioning for Augmented Nanoparticle Penetration and Efficacy in the Central Nervous System, a group at the University of Virginia led by Rich Price, PhD, sought to measure by how much focused ultrasound could augment the penetration of nanoscale therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier and into brain tissue. What was the increase in the volume of transfected brain tissue that they could achieve while using the technology to deliver brain-penetrating nanoparticles? See Small >
The Columbia University neuroscience team led by Elisa Konofagou, PhD, has developed a novel, portable, and non—MRI-guided system for using focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier in humans.
The neuroscience team at Columbia University led by Elisa Konofagou, PhD, has developed a novel, portable, and non—MRI-guided system for using focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in humans. Instead of MRI, the 0.25-MHz device is guided by neuronavigation. The group successfully tested the system’s single-element transducer using Food and Drug Administration—approved parameters and was able to achieve clinically relevant ultrasound exposures. The group intends to use the device’s speed, low cost, and portability to accelerate the development of new therapies for patients with serious brain conditions.