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Ultrasound Mediated Immunotherapy

Samantha Fix


Exposing solid tumors to focused ultrasound (FUS) can stimulate an anti-tumor immune response through the liberation of tumor-associated antigens and/or increase in immune cell trafficking within the tumor. Research in the Dayton Lab explores the benefit of combining this immunostimulation with immunotherapeutic drug delivery for pancreatic cancer treatment, in collaboration with the Pylayeva-Gupta Lab at UNC. Pancreatic cancer is notoriously difficult to treat via traditional methods and is resistant to the checkpoint immunotherapies that have provided groundbreaking success for other aggressive cancer types. We believe that through the use of FUS, we will be able to increase immune cell infiltration into pancreatic tumors, improve the local delivery of immune checkpoint inhibitors, and ultimately achieve functional anti-tumor immunity in a pancreatic cancer model.


Figure 1. Ultrasound stimulation of pancreatic tumors increases CD8+ T cell infiltration and reduces tumor growth.