CTNI-55. A multicenter study of low-intensity focused ultrasound with systemic microbubble oscillators for blood-brain barrier disruption for liquid biopsy in glioblastoma (liberate)

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Liquid biopsy in glioblastoma (GBM) is hindered by a lack of requisite circulating-free DNA (cfDNA) blood levels in due to the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Real-time image-guided low-intensity focused ultrasound (LIFU) with intravenously administered microbubble oscillators non-invasively causes BBB disruption (BBBD). This clinical trial aimed to evaluate the utility of LIFU for increasing cfDNA in blood for liquid biopsy in GBM.


LIBERATE is an ongoing, prospective, multi-center, self-controlled, ongoing, pivotal trial evaluating the safety and technical efficacy of LIFU for BBBD to increase cfDNA in blood for GBM. Patients aged 18-80 years with suspected GBM planned for tumor biopsy or resection at ten centers in the US are being included. Patients are administered intravenous oscillating microbubbles for enhancing sonication, after which MR-guided BBBD using 220 kHz LIFU device is performed, with real-time acoustic feedback for effective sonication. Pre- and post-procedure, phlebotomies, and MRI brain are performed. The primary study endpoint is defined, per subject, as the ratio between cfDNA levels in blood 1-hour post-LIFU procedure compared to cfDNA level in blood pre-procedure. The primary study hypothesis is that BBBD with LIFU leads to ≥2-fold increase in cfDNA in blood. The secondary hypothesis is that there exists ≥75% concordance between biomarker patterns in the cfDNA sample from 1-hour post-LIFU sample and tumor tissue obtained later. Exploratory endpoints include (1) sensitivity of detection of known somatic mutations in cfDNA from blood samples collected before and after LIFU, (2) estimation of cfDNA levels in samples collected at 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, and 3 hours post-LIFU to determine the time of greatest yield, (3) correlation of MRI parameters related to BBBD grading and biomarkers in cfDNA from post-LIFU samples. Patient enrollment commenced in 2022, and 13 patients have been recruited by 06/09/2023. Clinical trial information: NCT05383872.




Supplement 5

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SNO 2023 Annual Meeting. Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO). November 15-19, 2023. Vancouver, Canada.

EANO 2023 Annual Meeting. European Association of Neuro-Oncology (EANO). September 21-24, 2023. Rotterdam, Netherlands



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