News & Press: Society News

SIS President Maus’ Image-Guided Injection Techniques Help Mayo Land $3 Million Gene Therapy Study

Tuesday, October 31, 2017  

Mayo Clinic faculty colleagues Andreas Beutler, MD (principal investigator) and Spine Intervention Society (SIS) President Timothy Maus, MD together have secured $3 million over 5 years to study gene therapy pain treatments. The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ National Institutes of Health (NIH), will explore Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) vectors and their delivery of therapeutic genes encoding analgesic proteins directly to the primary sensory neurons in the dorsal root ganglion via clinically translatable computed tomography and MRI image guidance. Such therapy could usher in a new age of hyper-locally delivered, gene-encoded opioids (and other analgesic agents) without systemic side effects.

A critical paradigm of the research program is the recognition that disabling, musculoskeletal pain syndromes—including those of spinal origin—represent loco-regional pain, and are amenable to precise delivery of molecularly-selective analgesic agents. This plays to the expertise of the SIS interventional pain community, comprised of physicians whose primary skill set involves anatomically selective delivery of therapeutic agents.

Dr. Maus regularly instructs SIS courses, has served as Chair of the SIS Education Division, SIS Treasurer, and is now President of the Society. For over 25 years, SIS has attracted research-minded physicians such as Dr. Maus, supported important research projects, and even established a $1 million-dollar Research Endowment Fund to ensure that funding is available for members to advance evidence-based spine intervention.

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