About this Research Topic
Precision medicine is an approach that proposes customized medical care based on the individual characteristics of each patient. The rapidly emerging field not only holds great promise for diagnosis of disease and prediction of risk of developing diseases, but also offers the possibility of remarkably fine-tuned remedies to improve patient health while minimizing the risk of harmful side effects.
Many technologies including genetics, informatics, and medical imaging, are rapidly expanding the scope of precision medicine. Among these technologies, imaging is poised to play a major role in the age of precision medicine. By characterizing anatomy, physiology and metabolism of the patient, medical imaging enables precise, personalized procedures and predictive, patient-specific therapy selection. In recent years, image-guided treatment procedures are becoming more and more common in hospitals, replacing conventional surgery or allowing faster recoveries with fewer post-procedure complications.
As the most widely used modality, ultrasound is playing an increasingly important role towards moving precision medicine into clinical practice. It is a safe, inexpensive diagnostic tool and capable of producing real-time and non-invasive images without significant biological effects. To date, lots of ultrasound imaging technology, such as gray-scale, color Doppler flow imaging (CDFI), contrast enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), elastography have been developed, which have greatly improved disease diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Thanks to these progress, ultrasound imaging has also been used in fields that were not previously involved, such as the lungs and musculoskeletal tissues. With the rapid development of ultrasound contrast agents, ultrasound molecular imaging is moving from animal study into clinical practice. First-in-human results of ultrasound molecular imaging with BR55 (a kinase insert domain receptor [KDR]–targeted contrast microbubble) in patients with breast and ovarian lesions have been reported in 2017. Taking advantage of microbubble cavitation effect, ultrasound-assisted drug delivery technology also makes great progress. The clinical trial of blood-brain barrier disruption for chemotherapy delivery in the brain had been conducted and confirmed its safety and well toleration in patients with recurrent glioblastoma (GBM). Moreover, ultrasound provides an advantageous tool for image-guided therapy due to its capability of real-time imaging for deep tissues, contributing to greatly improved localization and targeting of diseased tissues. More interestingly, by imaging these drug-loaded contrast agents, ultrasound-mediated drug delivery can be visualized. All of the above examples help demonstrate the promising potential of ultrasound in precision medicine, not only for disease diagnosis, but also for treatment selection and prognosis evaluation.
The present Research Topic here in Frontiers in Pharmacology aims to bring a collection of research describing ultrasound used for precision medicine in diagnosis, drug delivery and image-guided therapy. Prospective research about ultrasound image-guided therapy in clinical application is highly encouraged. Interdisciplinary research in ultrasound imaging technology, biological effects, molecular imaging or ultrasound drug delivery are also welcome.
Keywords: Ultrasound, diagnosis, drug delivery, image-guided therapy, precision medicine
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.