We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress hp
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App

Ultrasound Technology Breaks Blood-Brain Barrier for Glioblastoma Treatment

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 11 Jun 2024
Print article
Image: The device creates microbubbles that temporarily disrupt the BBB, permitting the entry of immunotherapy into the brain (Photo courtesy of Northwestern)
Image: The device creates microbubbles that temporarily disrupt the BBB, permitting the entry of immunotherapy into the brain (Photo courtesy of Northwestern)

Despite extensive molecular studies, the outlook for patients diagnosed with the aggressive brain cancer known as glioblastoma (GBM) continues to be poor. This is partly due to the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which blocks most treatments from reaching the brain effectively. For example, modern antibody-based therapies that have been successful in treating many solid tumors fail to cross the BBB. GBM cells tend to spread and invade areas of the brain that appear normal on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans due to the BBB's resistance to many drugs administered systemically. Even after surgical removal of the tumor-visible region, the presence of invasive residual cells often leads to cancer returning, with patients typically facing the inevitable progression of the disease. In a major advancement for the treatment of GBM, researchers have used ultrasound technology to breach the BBB, delivering a small combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy drugs. This approach has shown potential in enhancing the immune system's ability to recognize and attack cancer cells, leading to a new treatment method.

In this groundbreaking study, researchers at Northwestern Medicine (Chicago, IL, USA) achieved several breakthroughs. For the first time, they used a skull-implantable ultrasound device (SonoCloud-9; Carthera; Lyon, France) that increased the brain's absorption of the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin and immune checkpoint blockade antibodies, a new combination of immunotherapy treatments. This device creates microbubbles that temporarily disrupt the BBB, permitting the entry of immunotherapy into the brain. They also discovered that administering a smaller dose of doxorubicin, compared to traditional chemotherapy regimens, along with the immune checkpoint antibodies, significantly enhances the immune system's ability to identify malignant GBM cells and revitalizes the lymphocytes (immune cells) responsible for attacking the cancer cells.

An immune checkpoint blockade antibody prevents cancer cells from deactivating the immune system. The immune system naturally has checkpoints to prevent excessive damage to the body while fighting cancer and infections. GBM manipulates these checkpoints to prevent attacks from the immune system, specifically the lymphocytes. Moreover, within the GBM tumor environment, there are prevalent cells known as macrophages and microglia. These cells are typically manipulated by GBM to suppress lymphocyte activity. The study indicated that the combination of chemotherapy and antibodies alters these cells, empowering the lymphocytes to detect and destroy the cancer cells effectively.

“This is the first report in humans where an ultrasound device has been used to deliver drugs and antibodies to glioblastoma to change the immune system, so it can recognize and attack the brain cancer,” said Adam Sonabend, MD, associate professor of Neurological Surgery and a Northwestern Medicine neurosurgeon. “This could be a major advance for the treatment of glioblastoma, which has been a frustratingly difficult cancer to treat, in part due to poor penetration of circulating drugs and antibodies into the brain.”

Related Links:
Northwestern Medicine 

Gold Member
Solid State Kv/Dose Multi-Sensor
LED-Based X-Ray Viewer
Dixion X-View
1.5T Superconducting MRI System
uMR 680
Powered Echocardiography Imaging/Ultrasound Table
Powered Echo

Print article



view channel
Image: The pathways in the brain highlighted are those most affected by concussion (Photo courtesy of Benjamin Hacker et al)

AI Model Diagnoses Traumatic Brain Injury from MRI Scans With 99% Accuracy

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that may lead to temporary disruptions in brain function. Occurring from incidents such as sports injuries, whiplash, or a simple bump to the head, many... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel
Image: The new Medical Imaging Suite makes healthcare imaging data more accessible, interoperable and useful (Photo courtesy of Google Cloud)

New Google Cloud Medical Imaging Suite Makes Imaging Healthcare Data More Accessible

Medical imaging is a critical tool used to diagnose patients, and there are billions of medical images scanned globally each year. Imaging data accounts for about 90% of all healthcare data1 and, until... Read more

Industry News

view channel
Image: Calantic Digital Solutions is an orchestrated suite of AI radiology solutions that aims to transform radiology (Photo courtesy of Bayer)

Bayer and Rad AI Collaborate on Expanding Use of Cutting Edge AI Radiology Operational Solutions

Imaging data constitutes approximately 90% of all medical data, with the volume of such data continuously expanding, thereby significantly increasing the workload for radiologists amid existing resource limitations.... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.