TAIPEI, Aug. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — NaviFUS’ focused ultrasound (FUS) therapy system (NaviFUS®) was recently approved for use in a new clinical trial by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA). It will be initiated shortly at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. The trial will investigate the “synergy” that FUS-mediated opening of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) has on improving the therapeutic effect of radiotherapy treatment in patients with end-stage primary brain tumors. Despite suffering from repeating surgeries, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy, most of these patients will eventually face tumor recurrence. Currently, while there may not be any effective treatments guaranteed to prolong survival, NaviFUS hopes that this upcoming clinical trial can result in a new, low-risk, and “Patient Friendly” option for patients who have already exhausted first and second-line treatments or failed radiotherapy treatment previously. If this combined treatment can safely enhance the effect of radiotherapy, NaviFUS’ believes this treatment can also be extended to metastatic brain tumors from lung cancer, breast cancer, etc. The market potential for this treatment is expected to be more than $2 billion US dollars.
The principle behind the “synergy” of this combined treatment is based on findings that the blood flow and oxygen concentration in the tumor area are often insufficient due to rapid proliferation of tumor cells. As a result of these hypoxic conditions, free radicals are not easily generated during radiation treatment, resulting in low radiotherapy efficacy; the opening of the blood-brain barrier is expected to change the tumor microenvironment by improving the blood flow and oxygen content of tumor tissues, which promotes the formation of free radicals and produces a radio-sensitization effect, so that the same dose of radiotherapy may bring better results without adding negative side effects.
NaviFUS has successively published research on how the opening of the BBB can enhance the therapeutic effect of radiotherapy last year at Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound and this year at International Symposium for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU 2021). In preclinical studies, preliminary results confirmed that the oxygen content of brain tissue is significantly increased after opening the BBB, resulting in an enhanced radiotherapy and tumor-inhibiting effect. Under these conditions, low radiotherapy doses may yield high-dose therapeutic effects and significantly reduced serious side effects attributed to high-dose radiotherapy.
At the same time, NaviFUS is conducting a FUS-mediated BBB opening combined with bevacizumab (Avastin®) clinical trial at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. After repeatedly opening the BBB and long-term treatment with Avastin, preliminary results have shown positive signs of superior tumor progression control at the tumor treatment sites in patients; NaviFUS plans to run a similar trial simultaneously at Stanford University, which they expect to be approved by the US FDA’s IDE review before the end of the year.
Dr. Arthur Lung, Chief Executive Officer of NaviFUS, expresses great optimism about the therapeutic potential of the NaviFUS® System. “If these two non-invasive FUS treatments for brain tumors can be successfully developed, they can offer non-invasive treatment options with improved efficacy and minimal side effects.” As the NaviFUS® System continues its development of next-generation treatments on its platform, it has garnered much interest worldwide and has partnered with organizations conducting clinical or academic research in FUS through its Research-Only FUS device. For further inquiries on this model, please contact NaviFUS directly.