Foundation, Melanoma Research Alliance, and Cancer Research Institute Join Forces
Study: Immunotherapy for Brain Metastases
The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) and Cancer Research Institute (CRI) are collaborating with the Foundation to fund a new preclinical research project using focused ultrasound to enhance immunotherapy for melanoma brain metastases.
“It is the Foundation’s belief that focused ultrasound has significant untapped potential in the field of cancer immunotherapy,” said Jessica Foley, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer. "We are dedicated to advancing this work to develop more effective therapies for patients living with melanoma and other types of cancer."
Although significant advances have been made in treating melanoma with immunotherapy, brain metastases remain very difficult to treat. This hurdle is related to the relationship between the brain, the tumor metastases, and an immune system that limits immune cell and antibody access.
“Immunotherapy has shown significant promise for some patients with advanced melanoma, and we hope to expand our understanding and use of immunotherapy to impact all patients – including those with cancer that has spread to the brain,” says Louise Perkins, PhD, Chief Science Officer at MRA.
Jill O’Donnell-Tormey, PhD, CEO and Director of Scientific Affairs at CRI, added, “Cutting-edge investigation centering on focused ultrasound in combination with immunotherapy is an innovative approach, which, we hope, will ultimately benefit patients with any type of cancer that has spread to the brain.”
University of Virginia immunologist Timothy Bullock, PhD, Biomedical Engineering Professor Richard Price, PhD, and Medical Physicist, G. Wilson Miller, PhD, are teaming together to study the use of focused ultrasound in conjunction with microbubbles to increase the natural immune response to tumors in the brain.
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