Monday, 9 November 2015

Portable ultrasounds to open the BBB?

So the news today was about ultrasound opening the BBB. There are some portable ultrasounds for $100. Any thoughts?


  1. hi Anna, just saw the same info :

    I think it's promising, BBB is one of the biggest challenge on brain cancers.

  2. Hooray science!

    Anyway, I bet news like this cheer you up. You can easily get daily updates on advances in treating brain tumors via newsletter on

  3. If it's the same article I read yest I don't believe just having the ultrasound machine is what opens it. They r putting something w/in bubbles in the blood (think) that when activated by the machine they do something w proteins (?) and that opens the BBB.then when turn it off it goes back to normal. (Mind u I read article once yest and don't have it explained well) I could have read it wrong. Hopefully, after more studies, clinical trials it will prove to be a effective treatment for brain tumors but sounds like it will b a little till it's available. Unfortunately, I try not to get too excited anymore when reading sensationalized headlines about a cure for brain cancer as when actually read the paper it's based on an animal study and hasn't even been done in a dish on human cells yet. :-( but this is very promising and will definitely keep my eye on it just like the nano particles. I ll read this article once get a sec. If I m wrong and u can do w/ just the machine I apologize and please correct me!!

  4. I hear human trial will be later, next year

  5. How it works (copied from IFLscience):

    Firstly, as before, chemotherapy medication is injected into the bloodstream, as are the microbubbles. After locating the target tumor using an MRI scanner, a focused beam of ultrasound from outside of the body is directed at the blood-brain barrier, allowing the microbubbles to vibrate and open an incredibly small section of it up, allowing the medication to get through. The bubbles are eventually reabsorbed into the lungs. Importantly, no surgery of any kind was involved.

    I think this can quickly come into practice if proven effective - it is non-invasive, so I would expect it doesn't have to go through same stages like medications.

    1. I agree with Matjaz, this should go quickly if the phase 1 trial is proved safe. here is the reply I received from the clinic:
      "While this breakthrough opens up potential in the future for delivering drug therapies to parts of the brain protected by the blood brain barrier (BBB),
      please note that the patients (known as research participants) in this clinical trial will not benefit from this procedure (the opening of the BBB and any chemotherapy that gets through).

      These research participants will undergo needed surgery to remove much of their brain tumour the next day. Therefore any chemotherapy that did potentially get through to the brain tumour will also be removed.

      The point of this trial is to test for the feasibility, safety and proof of concept of using MR-guided focused ultrasound to temporarily open the BBB to get chemotherapy across into the brain tumour directly.

      This case was the first of up to 10 participants in this study; all of the participants will be those who are already scheduled for traditional neurosurgery to remove parts of their brain tumour.
      Enrolment is currently limited to Canadian residents only, due to the inpatient surgical procedure"