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A review of potential applications of MR-guided focused ultrasound for targeting brain tumor therapy

Layton Lamsam, Eli Johnson, Ian D. Connolly, Max Wintermark, and Melanie Hayden Gephart

Magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) has been used extensively to ablate brain tissue in movement disorders, such as essential tremor. At a lower energy, MRgFUS can disrupt the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to allow passage of drugs. This focal disruption of the BBB can target systemic medications to specific portions of the brain, such as for brain tumors. Current methods to bypass the BBB are invasive, as the BBB is relatively impermeable to systemically delivered antineoplastic agents. Multiple healthy and brain tumor animal models have suggested that MRgFUS disrupts the BBB and focally increases the concentration of systemically delivered antitumor chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and gene therapy. In animal tumor models, combining MRgFUS with systemic drug delivery increases median survival times and delays tumor progression. Liposomes, modified microbubbles, and magnetic nanoparticles, combined with MRgFUS, more effectively deliver chemotherapy to brain tumors. MRgFUS has great potential to enhance brain tumor drug delivery, while limiting treatment toxicity to the healthy brain.

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Introduction: Neuroimaging of degenerative and traumatic encephalopathies

Meng Law, Max Wintermark, Charles Liu, and John Darrell Van Horn

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The role of imaging in acute ischemic stroke

Elizabeth Tong, Qinghua Hou, Jochen B. Fiebach, and Max Wintermark

Neuroimaging has expanded beyond its traditional diagnostic role and become a critical tool in the evaluation and management of stroke. The objectives of imaging include prompt accurate diagnosis, treatment triage, prognosis prediction, and secondary preventative precautions. While capitalizing on the latest treatment options and expanding upon the “time is brain” doctrine, the ultimate goal of imaging is to maximize the number of treated patients and improve the outcome of one the most costly and morbid disease. A broad overview of comprehensive multimodal stroke imaging is presented here to affirm its utilization.