Sonoporation for therapy: from in-vitro, to in-vivo to patients

Summary Of The Consortium

Although cancer specialists can call on a plethora of treatment approaches, current treatment outcomes and patient survival rates remain modest. Sonoporation is a delivery technique for which high-frequency sound is used in conjunction with microbubbles to enhance the permeability of biological barriers while allowing co-administered therapeutic drugs or genes to be introduced into target tumours. Although sonoporation offers promise as a drug delivery tool with potential of alleviating the suffering brought on by the ravages of various disorders it has not been adopted as a clinical tool because its safety has not been evaluated and the relevant protocols leading to its efficient use in humans remains poorly defined and thus broadly unregulated. In this Consortium we propose to establish a framework for the safe and effective use of sonoporation as a tool for selective drug delivery in order to enhance drug bioavailability in tumor tissue. To achieve this goal, we have mobilised a multidisciplinary team with the express purpose of creating a research network that will share research outcomes, generate new research supported by “Ideas Workshops” and manage research relationships. Research will tackle key challenges facing clinical translation of sonoporation. We will first construct a database of preclinical studies of sonoporation in animal to identify microbubble properties and ultrasound parameters leading to enhanced tumour drug biodistribution and bioavailability. Moreoever, we will identify the imaging protocols necessary to evaluate sonoporation effieiciency. As a part of this Consortium we will support targeted short-term research exchanges that effect knowledge-transfer and research training. Our Consortium is timely and will bring focus to an area of pressing clinical need by establishing the protocols needed to achieve quantifiable transient tissue disruption and absorption of drugs by targeted cells both safely and efficiently.

Members of the consortium

Dr Ayache Bouakaz
Pr Mike Averkiou
Pr Nico de Jong
Pr Chrit Moonen
Pr Hanneke W.M. van Laarhoven