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Sara Keller




2000-present and while at APL-UW

Image-guided treatment of primary liver cancer in mice leads to vascular disruption and increased drug penetration

Keller, S.B., D. Suo, Y.-N. Wang, H. Kenerson, R.S. Young, and M.A. Averkiou, "Image-guided treatment of primary liver cancer in mice leads to vascular disruption and increased drug penetration," Front. Pharmacol., 11, doi:10.3389/fphar.2020.584344, 2020.

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30 Sep 2020

Despite advances in interventional procedures and chemotherapeutic drug development, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is still the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide with a <30% 5-year survival rate. This poor prognosis can be attributed to the fact that HCC most commonly occurs in patients with pre-existing liver conditions, rendering many treatment options too aggressive. Patient survival rates could be improved by a more targeted approach. Ultrasound-induced cavitation can provide a means for overcoming traditional barriers defining drug uptake. The goal of this work was to evaluate preclinical efficacy of image-guided, cavitation-enabled drug delivery with a clinical ultrasound scanner. To this end, ultrasound conditions (unique from those used in imaging) were designed and implemented on a Philips EPIQ and S5-1 phased array probe to produced focused ultrasound for cavitation treatment. Sonovue microbubbles, which are clinically approved as an ultrasound contrast agent, were used for both imaging and cavitation treatment. A genetically engineered mouse model was bred and used as a physiologically relevant preclinical analog to human HCC. It was observed that image-guided and targeted microbubble cavitation resulted in selective disruption of the tumor blood flow and enhanced doxorubicin uptake and penetration. Histology results indicate that no gross morphological damage occurred as a result of this process. The combination of these effects may be exploited to treat HCC and other challenging malignancies and could be implemented with currently available ultrasound scanners and reagents.

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center