In a new episode of The Onco’Zine Brief, Peter Hofland talks with Ely Benaim, MD, the Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President Development at SonALAsense and Mark De Souza, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of SonALAsense.
SonALAsense was founded to create hope in the face of despair with Sonodynamic Therapy (SDT), a non-invasive therapy option using SONALA-001 in combination with Insightec’s MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) to treat and eradicate deadly cancers like High-Grade Gliomas (HGG) that typically require debilitating brain surgery that often leads to tumor recurrence.
SonALAsense’s SDT uses SONALA-001, a proprietary formulation of aminolevulinic acid (ALA), to disrupt heme metabolism in tumor cells, increasing production of protoporphyrin, a heme precursor. From there, energy from focused ultrasound excites protoporphyrin molecules, which produce reactive oxygen species that destroy cancer cells.
Recently, Hasan Syed, MD, at Children’s National Hospital published a peer-reviewed paper on the first DIPG patient treated with SONALA-001 in the Journal of Neuro-Oncology; a major milestone for this deadly and understudied childhood disease. 
Hofland, Benaim and De Souza talk about new technologies in the treatment of difficult to treat cancers.
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 Syed HR, Kilburn L, Fonseca A, Nazarian J, Oluigbo C, Myseros JS, Packer RJ, Keating RF. First-in-human sonodynamic therapy with ALA for pediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma: a phase 1/2 study using low-intensity focused ultrasound : Technical communication. J Neurooncol. 2023 Apr;162(2):449-451. doi: 10.1007/s11060-023-04269-8. Epub 2023 Apr 12. PMID: 37046110.
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Featured image: Patient. Photo courtesy: © 2016 – 2023. Fotolia/Adobe. Used with permission