Virginia Tech Clinical Trial Seeks End to Brain Cancer Surgery

Patients with brain cancer often undergo surgery to treat the disease because this is the recommended treatment for this particular cancer. This doesn’t mean that surgery is always an option, as treatments for patients are often prescribed by their primary care providers.

A trial conducted at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (Virginia Tech) looked into whether noninvasive treatments would do away with surgery in the management of brain cancer. For their study, the researchers used dogs to test out the effectiveness of focused ultrasound therapy, in particular histotripsy, in getting rid of brain tumors.

Lauren Ruger, a postdoctoral research associate from the biomedical engineering and mechanics department, explained how histotripsy utilized ultrasound waves with high pressure to break down the targeted tissues. Initially, histotripsy was designed to treat tumors in the liver. However, inquiries led to the exploration of its use in other applications.

For their trial, the researchers were observing whether this therapy could noninvasively ablate brain tumors in dogs.

The trial is being led by Professor John Rossmeisl of the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, who has specialized in neurosurgery and neurology. Assistant professor Rell Parker is also leading the study and is involved in the aforementioned fields.

The researchers enrolled a trio of dogs in the trial, all of whom were treated using histotripsy. This therapy was accompanied by surgical removal of the tumor to help ensure the animals were being afforded the current standard of care.

Ruger explained that the teams objective was to ensure that the treatment broke down the tumor completely and the dogs were getting much needed care via treatment. She posited that while surgery was still a mode of treatment, noninvasive scans could show how histotripsy had gotten rid of the tumors. She then described the advantages of histotripsy, including how on a post-therapy CT or MRI scan one could tell if the tissues in the tumor had been broken down or damaged enough.

In addition, Ruger admitted to believing that the observations made from the trial could, in the future, be applied to people. She discussed how dogs shared a lot of biological similarities with humans, adding that their tumors were also similar to those of humans.

The researchers hope that in the long-term, the treatment will allow therapy to be administered and standard CT or MRI imaging to confirm during follow-up that the tumor isn’t viable anymore, without having to surgically remove it.

The researchers are currently planning follow up research on their study.

As that follow-up research is conducted, enterprises such as CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are also conducting extensive work to bring to market superior therapeutics aimed at combating brain cancers more effectively in comparison to the current approaches.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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