ICUS Weekly News Monitor 10-13-2017

ICUS -- International Contrast Ultrasound Society

Lose Weight While You Sleep? Maybe Soon, According to ICUS Conference Study

Media release

October 06, 2017

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Obesity can be treated with an innovative gene therapy that produces weight loss and reduces fat according to a new study described today at the 32nd annual Advances in Ultrasound conference in Chicago.

Dr. Paul Grayburn of the Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX focused on a brown antipose tissue (BAT) common in hibernating animals like bears and also in children that increases energy expenditure. In Dr. Grayburn’s animal study, a protein specific to this brown antipose tissue was uncoupled to improve metabolism.

“We were able to deliver a gene ‘cocktail’ via tiny gas-filled microbubbles into skeletal muscles that lead to increased fat and glucose oxidation and weight loss,” Grayburn said.

In the study finding, the same brown antipose tissue that increases energy production in hibernating bears was activated in fatty rats and led to decreased food intake, weight loss, and reduced fat.

More than one-third (36.5%) of U.S. adults have obesity according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This promising, minimally-invasive therapy is easier and less expensive than gastric bypass surgery. The average cost of gastric bypass surgery in the US is $23,000.

In a second study at the same International Contrast Ultrasound Society (ICUS) Chicago conference, Dr. Pintong Huang used gas-filled microbubbles to deliver gene therapy in non-human primates with diabetes. His results showed the gene therapy stimulated normal glucose and insulin levels that were sustained for three to six months. Professor Huang is Chair of Ultrasonography of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, China.

Prof. Huang concluded that the results require additional larger studies which if successful show promise for human patients with diabetes.


ICUS -- International Contrast Ultrasound Society

Cheaper Way to Detect Liver Cancer Without Harmful Radiation Imaging, According to ICUS Conference Study

Media release

October 06, 2017

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Doctors can effectively detect liver cancer with ultrasound and tiny microbubbles -- and without radiation, expensive MRI equipment or biopsies, according to a study announced today at the International Contrast Ultrasound Society (ICUS) 32nd Annual Conference in Chicago.

The imaging technique, known as contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), "is an exciting option because it provides a more cost effective and less invasive way for accurately characterizing the tumor," said Dr. Stephanie Wilson, a professor of radiology at the University of Calgary and study author.

The study of over 200 patients at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common liver cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, found that CEUS imaging using the microbubbles allowed for the correct diagnosis with 97% accuracy.

CEUS uses liquid suspensions of tiny gas microbubbles to improve the clarity and reliability of an ultrasound image. The microbubbles are smaller than red blood cells and, when they are injected into a patient's arm vein, they flow through the microcirculation and reflect ultrasound signals, improving the accuracy of diagnostic ultrasound exams. The microbubbles are expelled from the body within minutes.

Dr. Steven Feinstein, a professor of medicine at Rush University in Chicago, said the study validates the vast benefits of using microbubble ultrasound contrast agents as a safe, convenient and effective diagnostic imaging tool. "The findings are extremely exciting and demonstrate that CEUS imaging improves patient care without exposing individuals to tissue diagnosis or ionizing radiation,” Feinstein added.

Dr. Wilson’s study utilized the Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS), a tool radiologists use to classify liver tumors using CT, MR and CEUS imaging in patients with suspected liver cancer. Additional prospective studies are expected according to Dr. Yuko Kono, a professor of Hepatology and Gastroenterology at the University of California San Diego and a leader in the CEUS imaging field.

ICUS Sponsors

ICUS gratefully acknowledges its 2017 sponsors:






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  • Address:  International Contrast Ultrasound Society
    c/o Dentons
    233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 5900 Chicago, IL 60606-6361
  • Telephone: 202-408-6199

About ICUS

ICUS is the world’s only professional society exclusively devoted to contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) medical imaging technology.

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