This month’s CURE MAG Cover Tip brought to you by the End Brain Cancer Initiative (EBCI), www.EndBrainCancer.org,  and through our patient advocacy and disease education partnership with CURE, focuses on turning Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) from a deadly disease into a chronic managed disease through turning GBM patients into cancer survivors through metabolic targeting of GBM through Aminolevulinic Acid (ALA) Sonodynamic Therapy (SDT).  ALA and SDT is created through the union of two FDA-approved technologies:  ALA tumor targeting and focused ultrasound (FUS).  ALA SDT uses am MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRGFUS) device together with a drug, ALA, to provide a cancer-specific therapeutic effect. To learn more about this approach, please visit: https://sonalasense.com/for-patients/ .

SonALAsense is now collaborating with the Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, AZ, on carrying out the first human clinical trials using ALA SDT.  One trial is focused on adult patients with recurrent GBM (rGBM) and the other trial is focused on pediatric patients with diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas.  These trials are set to begin in early 2022. For more information on this study or to inquire about patient participation, please contact Phase 0 Navigator at: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04559685Research@ivybraintumorcenter.org, or at 602-406-8605

The ALA and SDT process is used to focus ultrasound waves from the approximately 1,000 uultrasound generating transducers in the helmet/device worn by the patient over the entire brain tumor, creating light through a process called sonoluminescence and activating the sonodynamic effect in a completely noninvasive approach. Here’s more on how this outpatient procedure works for rGBM patients which is expected to take only a few hours:

STEP 1: Patient with rGBM receives an intravenous injection of SonALAsense’s proprietary formulation of ALA.

Step 2:  After a few hours during which ALA-induced protoporphyrin accumulates within the rGBM cancer cells, the patient’s head is placed within a helmet/device inside an MRI machine for FUS treatment.

It is EBCI’s HOPE that non-invasive treatment approaches such as this continue to be developed and FDA approved allowing ALL patients diagnosed with brain cancer to effectively manage and treat their cancer as a chronic disease. To help to continue to facilitate large scale advocacy, disease education, awareness & outreach efforts on/for new treatments and FDA approved treatment options for brain cancer, please consider donating to www.EndBrainCancer.org. Grateful.