Towards Point-of-Care Theragnostics: Ultrasound-Stimulated Microbubbles in Cancer Imaging and Therapy

Ahmed El Kaffas, Ph.D.

Instructor of Radiology
Division of Body Imaging and the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS)
Member of the Canary Center for Early Cancer Detection
Department of Radiology
Stanford University

Seminar Information

Seminar Date
September 29, 2023 - 2:00 PM

The FUNG Auditorium - PFBH



Ultrasound is a highly portable, relatively affordable, radiation-free, and widely available technology for pre-clinical and bedside imaging. Recent innovations have significantly expanded its diagnostic potential - these include: 1) a surge in handheld inexpensive point-of-care devices, 2) the introduction of several new imaging modes, and 3) regulatory approval of ultrasound contrast agents for hepatic and pediatric applications. Despite this, ultrasound remains under-utilized in managing cancer patients. In this talk, I will discuss our ongoing work to advance ultrasound as a non-invasive and versatile cancer theragnostic tool. More specifically, I will cover pre-clinical and in human development of novel contrast-enhanced ultrasound methods in cancer management, molecular ultrasound imaging of cancer immune markers, and ultrasound-based mechanotransduction as a novel therapeutic strategy. Finally, I will touch on our vision to enable contrast-based imaging and therapy on  handheld portable ultrasound devices at patient-facing clinics, beyond radiology. 


Speaker Bio

Dr. Ahmed El Kaffas trained in engineering and biophysics with significant translational and direct clinical research experience at the Sunnybrook Research Institute (University of Toronto), and at Stanford University. The multidisciplinary research group he has founded at Stanford includes physicists, biologists, engineers, and clinical residents/fellows, and ultimately seeks to expand the use of medical ultrasound within and outside of Radiology. To do so, the group focuses on studying the interaction of sound with biological systems to develop AI-driven diagnostics, contrast and molecular ultrasound imaging probes, and mechano-acoustic therapies. Dr. El Kaffas’ lab is supported by several NIH and foundation grants and receives industry support.