Progress in Focused Ultrasound for Glioblastomas


Focused ultrasound researchers worldwide are making unprecedented progress in addressing the unmet need of providing life-extending treatment for patients with deadly brain tumors – glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

GBM illustrationGBMs are aggressive and difficult to treat primary brain tumors. They are part of a class of tumors called astrocytomas, which come in four grades. Grades are determined by their appearance and characteristics under a microscope. GBM represents the highest-grade astrocytoma, Grade 4, and is also the most common of the astrocytomas.

Seoul, Korea
Earlier this month, Dr. Jin-Woo Chang completed a series of treatments in the first patient in a new clinical trial to open the blood-brain barrier (BBB) during the administration of chemotherapy. The trial is taking place at Severance Hospital, a part of Yonsei University Health System. Read More >

Toronto, Canada
Researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre have published results from the first-in-the-world safety trial to open the BBB in patients with GBM. We reported on the start of this study in November 2015. Read More >

Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Led by neurosurgeon Graeme Woodworth, MD, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine are investigating the use of focused ultrasound to disrupt the BBB in GBM patients who are scheduled to undergo brain cancer surgery. Read More >

Taipei City, Taiwan
Taiwan-based focused ultrasound manufacturer NaviFUS began its first clinical trial for glioblastoma. Researchers at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital are investigating focused ultrasound to induce opening of the BBB in patients with glioblastoma using optically guided, neuronavigational technology. The safety and feasibility study uses the company’s proprietary system to noninvasively treat these deadly cancers. Read More >

Paris, France
French manufacturer Carthera closed a new round of funding to continue their clinical trials, which have already prolonged the life of the participating patients. Read More >

Suggested Reading on Focused Ultrasound and GBM

Glioblastoma Multiforme: Tragedy and Hope for the Cancer that Killed Senator John McCain by Nir Lipsman, MD, PhD  September 2018

Treating Senator John McCain: Can Focused Ultrasound Help Patients with Glioblastoma and Other Brain Tumors? by Neal F. Kassell, MD  August 2017

John Grisham’s The Tumor is a fictional story about a GBM patient who undergoes traditional therapy and then imagines how his treatment would be different if focused ultrasound were clinically available.