Researchers across four centres in the US and Canada are exploring how focused ultrasound could allow immunotherapy treatments to more effectively slow the spread of brain cancer. Particularly, in those with brain metastases which has spread from the lungs.
How does the treatment work?
The team aims to improve outcomes and standard treatment for those facing brain metastases. The research uses a device developed by Insightec which focuses ultrasound on specific regions of the brain, alongside the immunotherapy drug Keytruda.
The device works by using circulating gaseous microbubbles in the brain to deliver the ultrasound. This process disrupts and opens the blood brain barrier. The disruption allows for higher concentrations of Keytruda to enter into the tumour site, where it can best take effect.
At this point, the immunotherapy drug will block pathways in the brain, making it easier for healthy T-cells to find and attack the cancer cells.
What will the study look like in practice?
This trial is randomized – meaning, of the 20 signed up, half will receive the current standard care for this condition whereas the other half will receive the additional focused ultrasound. This way, the researchers can identify clearly if the disruption caused to the blood brain barrier is significant enough to allow the Keytruda drug to have a bigger impact on the tumour site.
Up to 25% of all stage 4 lung cancer diagnoses result in brain metastases. This study allows for a potential improvement to how we treat brain metastases, which could ensure a greater quality of life and longer overall survival to the community facing such a disease.
To read more scientific information, click here.
Want to receive all the latest research straight to your inbox?
Sign-up our curated, jargon-free weekly research newsletter. Click here to fill out our contact form and select ‘research’ to opt into our research newsletter.
Get involved with research…
If you would like to use your experience and insight to support clinical research, consider signing up to be a PRIME advocate for brainstrust.
If you or someone you love is living with a brain tumour and have any questions around this latest news, or want to access support, give us a call on 01983 292 405 or email email@example.com. You can also visit our little brainstrust website which features support for children affected by brain tumour.