Virginia researchers win grant to study ultrasound treatment on extracellular vesicles in sarcoma

The integrated Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia (iTHRIV), a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award hub, has awarded $200,000 in pilot funding across four multi-institutional research projects to accelerate health breakthroughs in the fields of pediatrics, prenatal care and cancer treatment.

“Our vision for these exciting seed projects is to support the ideas and cross-institutional collaborations that will lead to knowledge that improves health in Virginia and beyond,” said UVA Health’s Sean Moore, MD, director of the iTHRIV Pilot Studies Program. “Our past four years of pilot and feasibility awards have already led to numerous publications, patent applications and $9 million in federal follow-on funding – all directed at using data to change outcomes. We are excited to see what our new awardees will accomplish.”

The funded EV project:

Characterization of Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) after High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound for the Treatment of Sarcoma

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are particles naturally released from cells that enable communication between cells locally and distantly. In some cancers, EVs are implicated in cancer progression and metastasis. A cross-institutional team of Shawna Klahn, DVM (Associate Professor of Oncology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech), and Natasha Sheybani, PhD (Research Director of UVA Health’s Focused Ultrasound Cancer Immunotherapy Center), plans to characterize the EVs released from soft-tissue sarcomas before and after treatment of the tumor with high-intensity focused ultrasound, a technique that uses sound waves to destroy cancer tumor cells. Researchers are seeking to understand the biological consequences of high-intensity focused ultrasound treatment on EVs. EVs represent a potential new drug delivery tool, and high-intensity focused ultrasound can alter the release and/or contents of the EVs. In addition, this work will offer important information about the use of focused ultrasound as a treatment option for some types of cancer.

Source – UVA Health

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