Veterinary Medicine: At a Glance
The Foundation’s veterinary program provides a unique opportunity for focused ultrasound to benefit both companion animals and their owners.
Veterinary medicine has often lagged behind human medicine, but that is changing as we recognize the benefits of performing clinical trials in companion animals. Our dogs and cats are exposed to the same environmental stimuli that we are, and develop many of the same diseases in a far more natural way than laboratory animals. Veterinary trials make new innovative therapies available for family pets, while simultaneously collecting data that can be used to advance human medicine.
Focused Ultrasound for Veterinary Applications
Focused ultrasound offers several advantages over traditional treatments like surgery and radiation. It is noninvasive, which reduces the risk of infection and eliminates the need for stitches and the Elizabethan collar. Focused ultrasound can be used to ablate tissue or enhance the local delivery of therapeutic drugs. Because there is no ionizing radiation involved, treatments can be repeated if needed. Focused ultrasound has many potential applications in veterinary medicine, including tumor destruction, drug delivery, pain relief, and noninvasive spaying.
One of the most promising applications is veterinary oncology. In addition to ablating tumor tissue and enhancing the delivery of chemotherapeutics, preclinical and human clinical data suggest that focused ultrasound can induce a potent anti-tumor immune response. This is of particular interest for animals with metastatic disease or those who are not good surgical candidates. Patients with partially resected, reccurent, or surgically inaccessible tumors are also ideal candidates for focused ultrasound.
Our Veterinary Program
The Foundation’s Veterinary Program is actively seeking to promote interest in focused ultrasound within the veterinary community, and are networking with other organizations to identify new projects and co-funding opportunities. Learn More >
Multimedia and News
The following videos and media coverage review the state of the field and future directions for focused ultrasound in pediatrics.
Ashish Ranjan, VBSc, PhD, on Focused Ultrasound for Veterinary Medicine
Ashish Ranjan, BVSc, PHD, a pioneer in the use of focused ultrasound in companion animals, discusses why he is excited about the technology’s potential.
Focused Ultrasound: A New Approach to Treating Cancer and Non-Healing Chronic Wounds
The team at Oklahoma State University Veterinary School introduce some of their star patients and explain the advantages of focused ultrasound in veterinary medicine.
Focused Ultrasound is Showcased in Virginia Tech’s New Veterinary Cancer Center
After several Foundation-funded veterinary clinical trials demonstrated success, focused ultrasound became a key technology among the treatment options offered at Virginia Tech’s new Animal Cancer Care and Research Center in Roanoke, Virginia. The oncologists discuss their experience with focused ultrasound and why the technology is showcased at the massive new comparative medicine facility at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute.
The Patient Perspective
Oreo is a nine-year-old Shetland sheepdog whose plasmacytoma was treated as part of a focused ultrasound clinical trial at the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.
Canine Patient Profile: Maddi Lynn
Maddi Lynn is a nine-year-old Cocker Spaniel who developed a malignant sarcoma on her front leg. A team at the Virginia Tech Vet School used focused ultrasound to shrink the tumor noninvasively, and then surgically removed the remaining mass.
Help Us Fund Research
The Foundation has an ongoing $2 million campaign to support research on focused ultrasound in veterinary medicine. Learn More >
The Foundation organizes and hosts biennial symposia featuring focused ultrasound research across all medical fields. The most recent symposium, held in 2020, featured a special session on veterinary medicine.
Focused Ultrasound Foundation Symposium Summary 2020 (PDF)
Focused ultrasound is a new technology within the veterinary field, and the Foundation has devoted significant time and energy educating major stakeholders in the industry about the therapy. To date, major funding organizations in veterinary medicine have provided a total of over $750,000 in seed, collaborative, or follow-on funding for projects supported by the Foundation. The endorsement of these organizations, listed below, is a testament to the amazing potential focused ultrasound has in veterinary medicine.
If you would like to know more about the Foundation’s Veterinary Medicine Initiative, please contact the program director, Kelsie Timbie, PhD.