Sonodynamic Therapy Roundtable Convenes Experts to Advance New Focused Ultrasound Application


Key Points

  • A recent virtual roundtable meeting addressed key questions related to sonodynamic therapy (SDT). 
  • SDT uses focused ultrasound to activate agents in tumor cells to cause cell death. 
  • Nearly 30 people from 10 sites around the world attended the meeting. 
Virtual meeting

On August 9, 2023, the Foundation hosted a virtual roundtable meeting to discuss the state of the field and address key questions related to sonodynamic therapy (SDT). 

SDT uses focused ultrasound to activate agents, or sonosensitizers, that selectively accumulate in tumor cells. When activated, the agents cause cell death. Several adult and pediatric clinical trials are already investigating the use of SDT for multiple types of brain tumors, including newly diagnosed glioblastomas (GBMs), recurrent GBMs, and pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPGs)

At the meeting, nearly 30 people from 10 sites around the world came together to address the following burning questions:  

  1. What sonication parameters should be employed clinically to ensure the most effective treatment? 
  1. What should the timing of focused ultrasound be in relation to administration of the sonosensitizer? 
  1. Should the entire tumor be targeted, or the borders, or partial tumor? 
  1. What other tumors can be targeted? 
  1. What outcome measures should be used? 
  1. What compounds other than 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) should be used?  

A significant key takeaway from the meeting was that the Foundation will pay close attention to streamlining clinical trial design so the field can better compare clinical results.  

“Although SDT is a relatively new field of study, there has been much progress in the past two years, as evidenced by the numerous clinical trials initiated,” said Lauren Powlovich, MD, the Foundation’s associate chief medical officer. “It was time to bring together key thought leaders to discuss best practices and answer outstanding questions. Our aim in hosting this roundtable was to catalyze the clinical adoption of SDT by opening the lines of communication between sites and the Foundation.” 

Investigators, companies, or foundations interested in joining future collaborative events around the use of focused ultrasound for SDT should contact Dr. Powlovich