The Foundation’s Associate Chief Medical Officer, Lauren Powlovich, MD, recently wrote a blog post for the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) called “Focused Ultrasound for Brain Tumors: Hope for the Future of GBM.” The blog provides an overview of the current state of focused ultrasound for glioblastoma (GBM) – a highly aggressive and deadly brain tumor. Dr. Powlovich outlines the current ways in which focused ultrasound is being employed as an adjunct or complement to traditional therapies: opening of the blood-brain barrier, sonodynamic therapy, and radiation sensitization or enhancement. She also addresses the various devices that are being developed to treat the disease. Read the Blog Post
In this blog post, Mark Carol, MD, a senior consultant at the Foundation, addresses a common misconception about the facility costs of focused ultrasound treatments. Learn why most focused ultrasound procedures are a more profitable use of MRI machines for hospitals than diagnostic studies.
Many organizations and professional societies in healthcare offer fellowships and research funding in fields that overlap with current areas of interest within the focused ultrasound community. By sharing these opportunities, the Foundation aims to further focused ultrasound research in a wide array of specialties and for a variety of disorders. Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research Submission Deadline: August 15, 2023 Seed Grant Program ($75,000 for a single investigator award and $100,000 for a two-investigator collaborative award)The Foundation Seed Grant program has been extremely successful in providing research support to basic and clinical scientists and investigators in the United States and overseas. The Seed Grant program funds research in the following areas: treatment/therapy, patient care, early diagnosis, detection, cancer biology, basic science, prevention/metabolism and research core facilities. The goals of the program are: to provide start-up funding for basic scientists and clinicians who intent to test innovative ideas for improving diagnosis and to develop new treatment modalities for pancreatic cancer, to obtain preliminary data required for additional funding from other agencies for pancreatic cancer research, to impact on the understanding of pancreatic cancer cell biology, biochemistry, physiology, morphology, and response to therapy, to establish collaborations within the field for mutual projects that can be considered for further funding. Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada Submission Deadline: August 18, 2023 Research Grant ($25,000)Grants of up to $25,000 will be available for research taking place within Canada for any type of primary or metastatic brain tumour, adult or pediatric. Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Submission Deadline: September 1, 2023 Postdoctoral FellowshipThe CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program supports qualified young scientists at leading universities and research centers around the world who wish to receive training in fundamental immunology or cancer immunology. CRI seeks hypothesis-driven, mechanistic studies in both immunology and tumor immunology. The applicant and sponsor should make every effort to demonstrate the potential of the proposed studies to directly impact our understanding of the immune system’s role in cancer. Postdoctoral Fellowship to Promote Racial DiversityThe CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship to Promote Racial Diversity supports qualified young scientists from underrepresented minorities at leading universities and research centers around the world who wish to receive training in fundamental immunology and cancer immunology. Fellows train under the guidance of a world-renowned immunologist, who sponsors the fellow and prepares him or her for a productive and successful career in cancer immunology. The program will provide additional support for mentoring and career advancement to these individuals, as we work to build a more racially diverse and inclusive community of scientists working in immuno-oncology. American Academy of Neurology Submission Deadline: September 1, 2023 Practice Research Training Scholarship ($65,000 per year for two years )The American Academy of Neurology is pleased to offer a two-year award to support practice-based research, which is defined as “clinical research that evaluates translation of evidence into best clinical practice.” This may include evaluation of health services, quality of care, implementation of therapies, physician performance, or patient adherence. It is intended to create unique training opportunities previously difficult to access for neurologists. This award aims to recognize the importance of good practice-based research or comparative effectiveness research (CER) and encourage young investigators to use studies to improve health systems and services. The AAN Research Program demonstrates the AAN Board of Directors’ dedication to promoting neurology and neuroscience research and training. American Heart Association (AHA) Submission Deadline: September 7, 2023 AHA Postdoctoral FellowshipThe AHA Postdoctoral Fellowship is intended to enhance the training of postdoctoral applicants who are not yet independent. The applicant must be embedded in an appropriate investigative group with the mentorship, support, and relevant scientific guidance of a research mentor. Recognizing the unique challenges that clinicians, in particular, experience in balancing research and clinical activity, this award mechanism aims to be as flexible as possible to enable applicants to develop academic careers in research alongside fulfilling clinical service commitments. ChadTough Defeat DIPG Foundation Submission Deadline: September 15, 2023 Fellowship Grant ($300,000 over three years for post-doctoral fellows; $200,000 over 3 years for pre-doctoral fellows)The Fellowship Grant is awarded to outstanding pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows under the guidance of a mentor to help develop the next generation of leaders in DIPG research. Grant Opens: August 1, 2023Submission Deadline: February 8, 2024 New Investigator Grant ($400,000 over three years)The New Investigator Grant supports newly independent DIPG researchers working to establish DIPG research labs or established researchers (who have not previously conducted brain tumor research) to encourage them to start DIPG research. Game Changer Grant ($600,000 over three years)The Game Changer Grant funds hypothesis-driven research projects that represent an innovative approach to a major challenge in DIPG research, with a potential to lead to groundbreaking discoveries in the field. Share your funding opportunity! If you would like to include your organization’s funding opportunity on this list, please contact Emily Whipple, PhD, the Foundation’s Strategic Initiatives Director.
Key Points A new article provides an overview of the global state of the field for using focused ultrasound to treat breast cancer. The authors outlined ongoing research using several mechanisms of action and five devices and highlighted the technology’s ability to engage the immune system. Focused ultrasound has the potential to become an alternative or complement to existing treatments in the management of breast cancer. Combination of Focused Ultrasound, Immunotherapy, and Chemotherapy: New Perspectives in Breast Cancer Therapy A recently published article provides an overview of the worldwide state of the field for using focused ultrasound to treat breast cancer and breast cancer metastases. Researchers from LabTAU (a Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence) and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation outlined ongoing research using several different focused ultrasound mechanisms of action and five devices. Data from the review, as collected through July 2022, included the following findings: There are nine ongoing clinical trials using focused ultrasound to treat various types and stages of breast cancer. Seven preclinical and three clinical studies have investigated the use of focused ultrasound for immunomodulation of breast cancers. The focused ultrasound devices that are currently being used to treat breast cancer are made by Chongqing HAIFU, Theraclion, Profound Medical, the University of Utah (MUSE), and Insightec. Chongqing HAIFU’s Model-JC breast cancer device is being used for thermal ablation. Theraclion’s Echopulse device is being used to ablate breast tumors before the delivery of a cancer immunotherapy and chemotherapy. Profound’s Sonalleve device is providing thermal ablation before breast cancer surgery in one study and combining focused ultrasound with chemotherapy in another. The University of Utah’s MUSE focused ultrasound ablation device is being tested for the treatment of breast tumors with thermal ablation. The Insightec focused ultrasound device uses focused ultrasound to activate microbubbles and open the blood-brain barrier to deliver chemotherapy to breast cancer brain metastases as well as activate microbubbles for radiation sensitization. Sonopermeation is another mode of action of therapeutic ultrasound. It relies on the ultrasound activation of microbubbles to enhance the delivery of chemotherapy, and it can be performed using a clinically approved ultrasound imaging device. Focused ultrasound has already been approved in some European and Asian countries for the treatment of breast cancer using thermal ablation. Another condition, benign breast tumors, has been approved to be treated with focused ultrasound in Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Europe. Focused ultrasound has the potential to become an alternative or complement to existing treatments in the management of breast cancer, with ongoing research evaluating the potential to improve treatment outcomes and decrease side effects. The technology may help address the need to develop noninvasive, personalized, and effective breast cancer treatments that have fewer side effects. Although many advances have been made in its treatment, breast cancer is still the most prevalent cancer in the world according to the World Health Organization. See Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine
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