This renewal application addresses the critical issue of treating metastatic cancer by combining three potent anti-cancer modalities: therapeutic ultrasound, chemotherapy and immune agonists. The enhanced accumulation (~25% ID/cc) and transport surrounding an ultrasonically-ablated region is shown to be far greater than that achieved with mild hyperthermia and is consistent across varied tumor biology. Further, the creation of small regions of ablation greatly enhances transport of tumor antigen into the draining lymph nodes and enhances systemic immune response. Through a collaboration with Image Guided Therapy, we have developed a flexible system to precisely control ultrasound therapy. Here, we will scale up our therapeutic ultrasound system from a 16-element annular array to a 256-element phased array for translation and develop the capability to model the thermal dose created by ultrasound. We will incorporate nonlinear modeling of propagation to predict lesion formation. Further, we will create protocols that combine ultrasound biological effects with chemotherapy and/or immune agonists in a systematic fashion. While cryoablation has been shown to be synergistic with immune agonists, ultrasound has far greater potential since insonation greatly improves drug delivery and transport;yet, this combination has yet to be explored. Our preliminary results and publications demonstrate the following: 1) by combining long circulating nanoparticles with ultrasound, we increase the fraction of therapeutic dose within primary tumors and the draining lymph nodes while decreasing systemic toxicity and avoiding leukopenia, 2) ultrasound ablation enhances the local CD8+ T cell population and dendritic and NK cell populations and 3) ultrasound combined with immune agonists increases local and systemic anticancer immunity, resulting in enhanced CD8+ T cell populations in treated and untreated tumors.
Our specific aims are to: scale up our technology in order to translate the resulting combination to larger animal models as the final step toward human translation;conduct studies of systemic nanoparticle chemotherapy combined with US to eliminate primary tumors in rodents and canines, and combine immunomodulatory agents with chemotherapeutics and ablation to create a systemic anticancer effect and treat metastatic cancer.

Public Health Relevance

We have demonstrated that ultrasound-enhanced delivery can be effective in treating primary cancers and here propose to extend these studies to larger animals using a scaled up therapeutic ultrasound system and to extend these studies to metastatic cancer by activation of the immune system.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel ()
Program Officer
Farahani, Keyvan
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Davis
Biomedical Engineering
Schools of Engineering
United States
Zip Code
Kheirolomoom, Azadeh; Ingham, Elizabeth S; Commisso, Joel et al. (2016) Intracellular trafficking of a pH-responsive drug metal complex. J Control Release 243:232-242
Shapiro, Galina; Wong, Andrew W; Bez, Maxim et al. (2016) Multiparameter evaluation of in vivo gene delivery using ultrasound-guided, microbubble-enhanced sonoporation. J Control Release 223:157-64
Wong, Andrew W; Fite, Brett Z; Liu, Yu et al. (2016) Ultrasound ablation enhances drug accumulation and survival in mammary carcinoma models. J Clin Invest 126:99-111
Liu, Jingfei; Foiret, Josquin; Stephens, Douglas N et al. (2016) Development of a spherically focused phased array transducer for ultrasonic image-guided hyperthermia. Phys Med Biol 61:5275-96
Seo, Jai Woong; Ang, JooChuan; Mahakian, Lisa M et al. (2015) Self-assembled 20-nm (64)Cu-micelles enhance accumulation in rat glioblastoma. J Control Release 220:51-60
Seo, Jai Woong; Mahakian, Lisa M; Tam, Sarah et al. (2015) The pharmacokinetics of Zr-89 labeled liposomes over extended periods in a murine tumor model. Nucl Med Biol 42:155-63
Liu, Yu; Fite, Brett Z; Mahakian, Lisa M et al. (2015) Concurrent Visualization of Acoustic Radiation Force Displacement and Shear Wave Propagation with 7T MRI. PLoS One 10:e0139667
Zhang, Hua; Tam, Sarah; Ingham, Elizabeth S et al. (2015) Ultrasound molecular imaging of tumor angiogenesis with a neuropilin-1-targeted microbubble. Biomaterials 56:104-13
Kheirolomoom, Azadeh; Ingham, Elizabeth S; Mahakian, Lisa M et al. (2015) CpG expedites regression of local and systemic tumors when combined with activatable nanodelivery. J Control Release 220:253-64
Fite, Brett Z; Wong, Andrew; Liu, Yu et al. (2015) Magnetic resonance imaging assessment of effective ablated volume following high intensity focused ultrasound. PLoS One 10:e0120037

Showing the most recent 10 out of 48 publications