Clinician News

  • Meeting Report: ASTRO 2021

    • The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting was held in Chicago October 24-27.
    • A presentation by Hong-Jian Wei, PhD, on blood-brain barrier opening for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) won a Basic/Translational Science Award.

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  • Bilateral Focused Ultrasound Trial for Parkinson’s Disease Seeks Patients

    • An international clinical trial is investigating the use of focused ultrasound on an alternative target in the brain to treat the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
    • In the bilateral trial, participants will be evaluated for treatment on the other side of the brain six months after initial treatment.
    • Sites in Maryland, New York, California, and Taiwan are now seeking patients.

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  • Cancer Immunotherapy Workshop White Paper Now Available

    • In September, the Foundation and the Cancer Research Institute hosted the fourth workshop to explore focused ultrasound and cancer immunotherapy.
    • The presentations and discussion have been summarized in a white paper.
    • The video recordings are also available on YouTube.

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  • Call for Nominations: ISTU 2022 Awards

    • The International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) is seeking nominations for two prestigious early-career awards.
    • The awards will be presented at their meeting in June in Toronto.
    • Nominations are due by December 20, 2021.

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  • FDA Approves Focused Ultrasound Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded approval of Insightec’s Exablate Neuro focused ultrasound device to include the treatment of patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD) suffering with mobility, rigidity, or dyskinesia symptoms.

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  • Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trial Begins in Korea

    • Clinicians at Seoul National University Hospital are using focused ultrasound on pancreatic cancer lesions to enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.
    • To date, 10 of 30 patients have been treated in this Foundation-funded trial.

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  • Case Report: Focused Ultrasound for Facetogenic Low Back Pain

    • A 78-year-old male suffered from low back pain for more than six years before focused ultrasound therapy provided relief.
    • The Foundation thanks Christin Tiegs-Heiden, MD, radiologist at Mayo Clinic, for providing this case report.

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  • Meeting Report: Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) Annual Meeting

    • The annual meeting of the CNS was held October 16-20 in Austin, Texas.
    • Focused ultrasound presentations included current indications, clinical trials, and preclinical research.
    • Suzanne LeBlang, MD, presented recent advances in focused ultrasound for treating brain tumors.

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  • World-First Clinical Trial Demonstrates Focused Ultrasound Can Deliver Antibody Therapy to Breast Cancer Metastases in the Brain

    Charlottesville, Va., October 13, 2021 – In a first-in-world clinical trial, researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada, have demonstrated that magnetic resonance (MR)-guided focused ultrasound can be used to safely deliver antibody therapy to breast cancer that has metastasized to the brain.

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  • Meeting Report: IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) 2021

    The IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) 2021 was held as a virtual meeting September 11-16, 2021.

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  • Meeting Report: Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology Society of Europe (CIRSE) 2021 Summit

    The Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology Society of Europe (CIRSE) 2021 Summit was held virtually September 25-28, 2021.

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  • Johns Hopkins and Collaborators Create Medical Device Design and Innovation Laboratories

    • Three new innovation laboratories are focused on bringing together the worlds of Ultrasound and Spinal Cord Injury.
    • The sites are called HEPIUS (Holistic Electrical, ultrasonic and Physiological Interventions Unburdening those with Spinal cord injury) after the Greek god of medicine and healing.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Reduces Pain for Patients with Chronic Knee Osteoarthritis

    • Researchers in Japan recently published clinical trial results using focused ultrasound to treat patients with knee pain secondary to chronic osteoarthritis.
    • The group applied ablative thermal treatment to the medial femorotibial joint of each participant.
    • Most participants (73.7%) had significant reductions in pain in the 12 months following treatment.

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  • Recently Completed Foundation-Funded Research

    • The Foundation funded three projects that have been completed in the first half of 2021.
    • Topics include improved imaging for focused ultrasound brain treatments, treating low-grade tumors in dogs, and a preclinical pancreatic cancer model that responded to histotripsy.

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  • Meeting Report: Society for Neuro-Oncology Brain Metastases Conference

    • The 3rd Annual Conference on Brain Metastases was held virtually August 19–20, 2021.
    • Nir Lipsman, MD, PhD, presented data from his recently completed metastatic breast cancer treatment study.
    • The meeting included live presentations, prerecorded abstract presentations, and an electronic poster session.

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  • Caitlin Tydings, MD, Named Inaugural Andrew J. Lockhart Postdoctoral Fellow

    • Caitlin Tydings, MD, has been awarded the Andrew J. Lockhart Postdoctoral Fellowship in Focused Ultrasound and Immuno-Oncology.
    • At Children’s National Hospital, Dr. Tydings is developing focused ultrasound as an immune modulator in pediatric cancers.
    • The fellowship was established through the generosity of the Lockhart family in honor of their son, Andrew J. Lockhart.

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  • Case Report: Focused Ultrasound for Sacroiliac Joint Osteoarthritis

    • Christoph A. Binkert, MD, MBA, of Kantonsspital Winterthur in Switzerland, shares a report of a patient with sacroiliac joint (SIJ) osteoarthritis.
    • Learn how focused ultrasound therapy helped the patient control her disabling pain and return to work.

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  • NaviFUS Receives Approval for Focused Ultrasound Trial to Enhance Radiotherapy

    • A new clinical trial will combine focused ultrasound and radiotherapy in patients with primary brain tumors.
    • Studies suggest that opening the blood-brain barrier to enhance oxygenation of brain tissue could make radiotherapy more effective.
    • The Foundation is funding this trial, which is expected to begin in Taiwan in September.

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  • First Glioblastoma Patient Treated in Focused Ultrasound Clinical Trial at University of Virginia

    • This multicenter clinical trial is evaluating the safety of using focused ultrasound to temporarily and reversibly open the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in glioblastoma patients undergoing standard chemotherapy treatment.
    • Researchers hope that disrupting the BBB will enhance the delivery of chemotherapy to the tumor site.
    • The study at the University of Virginia is being led by Jason Sheehan, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurological Surgery and Neuroscience and the Foundation’s Senior Advisor for Brain Tumor Research.
    • The Foundation is contributing to this clinical trial through an ongoing partnership with the UVA Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy Improves Focal Hand Dystonia in Musicians, Others

    • Focal hand dystonia (FHD) causes excessive and involuntary muscle contractions in the fingers, hand, and forearm.
    • A team of researchers in Japan investigated whether focused ultrasound thalamotomy could be used to treat FHD.
    • The group concluded that focused ultrasound thalamotomy significantly improved FHD.

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  • Meeting Report: ISTU 2021

    • The International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) annual meeting was held from June 6–9, 2021.
    • The event was hybrid virtual and in-person, with the live portion taking place in Gyeongju, Korea.
    • We thank Dong-guk Paeng, PhD, for this meeting summary.

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  • Bilateral, Staged Focused Ultrasound for Essential Tremor is Feasible

    • To date, most focused ultrasound treatments for essential tremor only address the patient’s dominant side, but many might need to be treated on both sides.
    • Data from a clinical trial suggest that bilateral treatment is feasible and may also be safe and effective.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Treatment Provides Sustained Efficacy for Essential Tremor

    • Researchers evaluated the long-term benefit of focused ultrasound treatment of essential tremor.
    • Data from 395 patients revealed hand tremors significantly improved from baseline to 24 months post-treatment, possibly lasting up to 48 months post-treatment and beyond.

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  • Meeting Report: Therapeutic Ultrasound in Oncology Symposium

    • Experts from four research sites and the Foundation discussed focused ultrasound for cancer at the Society for Thermal Medicine’s (STM) virtual symposium.
    • Topics included pelvic and head/neck cancer, a liver tumor trial, microbubbles and radiotherapy, and ablative therapies in oncology.
    • The Foundation sponsored this important meeting.

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  • Meeting Report: Focused Ultrasound Non-Invasive Neurosurgery Congress

    • The event marked one year since the first transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound center in Ufa, Russia, opened.
    • The online congress featured speakers from Japan, Taiwan, Spain, United Kingdom, and Russia.

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  • Foundation Hosts Glioblastoma Workshop

    • More than 260 attendees, including 60 experts from 58 institutions around the world, convened virtually to discuss focused ultrasound for glioblastomas (GBM).
    • A summary and a video archive of the presentations will be available in the coming weeks.

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  • Update: CMS Decides to Further Delay MCIT Pathway

    • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have delayed the implementation of the Medicare Coverage of Innovative Technology (MCIT) program until December 15, 2021. 
    • The MCIT will provide immediate, national coverage for breakthrough devices or diagnostics approved by the FDA.
    • The Foundation and our partners including MITA have expressed disappointment in this delay.

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  • Case Report: Histotripsy-Induced Abscopal Effect in Liver Tumors

    The Foundation thanks Joan Vidal-Jové, MD, PhD, of the Interventional and Surgical Oncology department at the Comprehensive Tumor Center Barcelonain Barcelona, Spain, for providing this case report.

    The Patient

    In November 2013, a 67-year-old male with stage 4 colon cancer underwent surgical resection of a part of his colon containing cancer. During the operation, he was noted to have hepatic metastases. After recovery from his colon surgery, the patient was started on chemotherapy. In 2014 and 2015, he underwent two separate open surgeries to remove liver masses, and chemotherapy was continued. From 2015 to 2018, his cancer was in remission, and he was maintained on adjuvant chemotherapy. In May 2018, during routine follow-up, the patient showed marked progression of his liver tumors in addition to new lung masses. Due to these findings, he was started on a different chemotherapy regimen plus an immunotherapy drug. In July 2018, three of the patient’s liver masses were treated with thermal ablation by ultrasound-guided, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU). He had a partial response to this treatment, but, unfortunately, his disease continued to progress, and he was maintained on the chemotherapy plus immunotherapy regimen.

    Abscopal case study figure1 captionIn April 2019, an MRI of the patient’s abdomen revealed countless liver masses that had increased in number and size since his last evaluation (Figure 1). The patient received an evaluation by the Tumor Board at Comprehensive Tumor Center Barcelona, and his inclusion in a clinical trial – the THERESA study – was approved. The THERESA studyis a first-in-human clinical trial sponsored by HistoSonics, Inc. to establish the safety and efficacy of their histotripsy device to treat liver tumors. The patient was not considered a candidate for other surgical or locoregional therapies.

    On May 13, 2019, the patient underwent histotripsy-mediated ablation of a 1.2 cm x 1 cm lesion in his liver. No adverse events occurred during or after the procedure, including no pain. In the weeks following the procedure, lab tests revealed a significant decrease in the value of the tumor marker CEA (Figure 2), and the patient continued to feel well with no pain. Follow up MRI scans at one, four, and eight weeks showed a decrease in size of the targeted, treated lesion as well as a decrease in size of numerous other, non-treated lesions throughout the liver (Figure 3). Immune assessment (CD3, CD4, CD8, IL6, Complement) was equivocal.

    Abscopal case study figure2 captionFollowing the advice of the patient’s oncologist, a new chemotherapy regime was initiated five weeks after the ablation procedure. After this, both tumor marker levels and the size of the liver lesions continued to decrease.

    In December 2019, there was progression of the liver metastases and appearance of a new tumor in the colon. New treatment options and clinical trials are still being explored. At present, one year after his treatment with histotripsy and evidence of an abscopal effect, the patient has slow progression of his disease.

    Focused Ultrasound for Abdominal Tumors

    Surgical resection is the established first-line treatment for primary and metastatic liver cancer. However, surgical removal with curative intent is only feasible for a minority of patients with liver metastases (10-25 percent) since only a small proportion of patients have tumors that are entirely resectable at presentation.1 Despite the survival advantage of hepatic resection on colorectal cancer liver metastases, relapse is common following curative resection.2 In addition, surgery is an invasive procedure associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality.3

    Abscopal case study figure3 captionAblation techniques are promising alternatives for those patients who are not eligible for surgical resection or who have failed other therapies. Current ablation methods include non-thermal ablation methods (e.g., percutaneous ethanol injection [PEI] and irreversible electroporation [IRE]) and thermal modalities (e.g., radiofrequency ablation [RFA, microwave ablation [MWA], and HIFU.)4

    Despite the efficacy of some of these local thermal ablation modalities, significant limitations exist due to their mode of action (thermal tissue destruction). Thermal ablation is inconsistent in tissue with non-uniform heat dissipation patterns, which is common in liver tumors.5 It often results in incomplete tumor necrosis in tissue that is located near major vessels.6, 7 Consequently, the shape and the size of the ablation zone may be unpredictable, and the efficacy of thermal ablation may be restricted.8 In addition, thermal ablation methods are often unsuitable for treating tumors larger than three centimeters due to excessive treatment time and practical ultrasound probe sizes.9-11 Most complications associated with RFA and MWA are consequences related to thermal injury.12 Another limitation of these methods is the lack of imaging feedback during treatment. Thus, CT or MRI evaluates the effect of ablation treatment after the application of thermal treatment while no real-time imaging provides monitoring during treatment.13

    HIFU is a noninvasive, image-guided, thermal ablation method. Unlike percutaneous thermal modalities, HIFU is completely extracorporeal and lacks the risks of bleeding and tumor seeding with the direct puncture of tumors. HIFU can improve upon other thermal ablation modalities due to its noninvasiveness, real-time feedback, and the ability to scan the focal zone over a large volume.13 As with the other thermal-based methods, HIFU is limited by the heat-sink effect, resulting in reduced efficacy in ablating tissue near major vessels and by extended treatment time for larger liver volumes.13 Another major challenge in the noninvasive treatment of liver tumors using HIFU is rib obstruction, which may result in secondary hot spots near the treatment main focal zone, inducing loss of therapeutic precision and collateral damage.14 Moreover, because of the high ultrasound absorption coefficient at the bone-tissue interface, overheating of ribs and surrounding tissue often results in unwanted tissue damage. Skin burns and subcostal edema have been reported with HIFU ablation cases.15, 16

    Therefore, developing new strategies in which a liver tumor can be ablated noninvasively and avoiding thermal-related collateral damage and inefficacy would be a major clinical advancement. To address this unmet clinical need, cavitation-based, ultrasound-guided treatment (histotripsy) is a promising option to destroy liver tumors and overcome the limitations of currently available ablation modalities.

    Histotripsy is a treatment technology that mechanically destroys targeted tissue through the precise targeting of acoustic cavitation.17-19 The ablation system is an image-guided device designed to deliver noninvasive, non-thermal histotripsy for local treatment that has the potential to overcome many limitations of other focal liver tumor treatment options.

    The Histotripsy Group in the Biomedical Engineering Department at University of Michigan invented and pioneered the development of focused ultrasound histotripsy more than 12 years ago. Starting with their earliest work with the use of microbubbles to cause tissue damage, this group developed histotripsy into a highly controlled and predictable tool to remove unwanted tissue with microscopic precision. In 2010, HistoSonics, Inc. entered into a worldwide exclusive license with the University of Michigan for exclusive rights to the entire portfolio of histotripsy patents and patent applications.

    Favorable characteristics of histotripsy treatment method include:

    • No insertion of probes or needle electrodes required
    • Ultrasound imaging feedback for pre-operative planning and real-time visualization of target tumor and image-guided tissue destruction
    • Prevents damage to adjacent structures
    • Overcomes rib obstruction
    • Precise targeting
    • Minimal scarring

    An additional potential benefit of histotripsy may be as immunogenic ablation20 if it can be used to stimulate tumor-specific immune responses capable of magnifying the impact of checkpoint inhibition immunotherapy. The characteristics of this cavitation-based ablation likely allow cytokines and metabolites – not destroyed in the tumor micro-environment – to become highly immunogenic and contribute to the abscopal effect, where shrinkage of untargeted tumors occurs secondary to an immune response.

    The abscopal – or “off target” – effect was first described in patients who were receiving radiation therapy that were noted to have regression of tumors that were in a non-irradiated zone. It describes the ability of localized radiation to initiate an antitumor response that kills cancer cells distant to the primary target. Similar to radiation, focused ultrasound has been shown to produce an abscopal effect in both preclinical and human cancers. When combined with immunotherapy, the abscopal effect could produce a durable treatment response to control or eradicate metastatic cancer.

    Conclusion and Future Goals

    This case report shows clear evidence of an immunologic relationship between histotripsy ablation and the abscopal effect. A patient with progressive and extensive metastatic disease with a short overall survival prognosis had noticeable shrinkage of non-targeted metastases and is still alive and considering new clinical trial options one year after the histotripsy procedure.

    In addition, this report highlights the differences between two focused ultrasound modalities. Thermal US guided HIFU was performed previously and obtained a substantial volume ablation but no immune effects. Less volume ablation with histotripsy generated a noticeable abscopal effect, and this data will influence future research assumptions.

    Histotripsy is a disruptive technology. The non-thermal and noninvasive characteristics of histotripsy offer patients the potential for a tumor treatment with fewer clinical complications and adverse events than currently available ablation methods and surgical procedures. The safety of histotripsy has been demonstrated through rigorous testing including benchtop and both acute and chronic disease preclinical studies. Future clinical trials with the objectives to evaluate technical performance, including acute technical success, while collecting safety-related data are forthcoming. In addition, further clinical trials should continue to explore histotripsy-mediated immune effects in detail.

    The THERESA Study used an investigative histotripsy device that is not yet commercially available. The THERESA Study is currently ongoing; therefore, data is not considered final.


    1. Wicherts DA, de Haas RJ, Adam R. Bringing unresectable liver disease to resection with curative intent. European journal of surgical oncology: the journal of the European Society of Surgical Oncology and the British Association of Surgical Oncology. 2007;33 Suppl 2:S42-51. Epub 2007/11/06.
    2. Zakaria S, Donohue JH, Que FG, Farnell MB, Schleck CD, Ilstrup DM, et al. Hepatic resection for colorectal metastases: value for risk scoring systems? Annals of surgery. 2007;246(2):183-91. Epub 2007/08/02.
    3. Livraghi T, Makisalo H, Line PD. Treatment options in hepatocellular carcinoma today. Scandinavian journal of surgery: SJS: official organ for the Finnish Surgical Society and the Scandinavian Surgical Society. 2011;100(1):22-9. Epub 2011/04/13.
    4. Bruix J, Sherman M. Management of hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatology. 2005;42(5):1208-36. Epub 2005/10/27.
    5. Livraghi T, Solbiati L, Meloni MF, Gazelle GS, Halpern EF, Goldberg SN. Treatment of focal liver tumors with percutaneous radio-frequency ablation: complications encountered in a multicenter study. Radiology. 2003;226(2):441-51. Epub 2003/02/04.
    6. Aschoff AJ, Merkle EM, Wong V, Zhang Q, Mendez MM, Duerk JL, et al. How does alteration of hepatic blood flow affect liver perfusion and radiofrequency-induced thermal lesion size in rabbit liver? Journal of magnetic resonance imaging: JMRI. 2001;13(1):57-63. Epub 2001/02/13.
    7. Kudo M. Radiofrequency ablation for hepatocellular carcinoma: updated review in 2010. Oncology. 2010;78 Suppl 1:113-24. Epub 2010/07/17.
    8. Mulier S, Ni Y, Jamart J, Ruers T, Marchal G, Michel L. Local recurrence after hepatic radiofrequency coagulation: multivariate meta-analysis and review of contributing factors. Annals of surgery. 2005;242(2):158-71. Epub 2005/07/26.
    9. Curley SA. Radiofrequency ablation of malignant liver tumors. The oncologist. 2001;6(1):14-23. Epub 2001/02/13.
    10. Lu DS, Raman SS, Limanond P, Aziz D, Economou J, Busuttil R, et al. Influence of large peritumoral vessels on outcome of radiofrequency ablation of liver tumors. Journal of vascular and interventional radiology: JVIR. 2003;14(10):1267-74. Epub 2003/10/11.
    11. Marrero JA, Pelletier S. Hepatocellular carcinoma. Clinics in liver disease. 2006;10(2):339-51, ix. Epub 2006/09/15.
    12. Lahat E, Eshkenazy R, Zendel A, Zakai BB, Maor M, Dreznik Y, et al. Complications after percutaneous ablation of liver tumors: a systematic review. Hepatobiliary surgery and nutrition. 2014;3(5):317-23. Epub 2014/11/14.
    13. Vlaisavljevich E, Kim Y, Allen S, Owens G, Pelletier S, Cain C, et al. Image-guided non-invasive ultrasound liver ablation using histotripsy: feasibility study in an in vivo porcine model. Ultrasound in medicine & biology. 2013;39(8):1398-409. Epub 2013/05/21.
    14. Bobkova S, Gavrilov L, Khokhlova V, Shaw A, Hand J. Focusing of high-intensity ultrasound through the rib cage using a therapeutic random phased array. Ultrasound in medicine & biology. 2010;36(6):888-906. Epub 2010/06/01.
    15. Jung SE, Cho SH, Jang JH, Han JY. High-intensity focused ultrasound ablation in hepatic and pancreatic cancer: complications. Abdominal imaging. 2011;36(2):185-95. Epub 2010/06/01.
    16. Wu F, Wang ZB, Chen WZ, Wang W, Gui Y, Zhang M, et al. Extracorporeal high intensity focused ultrasound ablation in the treatment of 1038 patients with solid carcinomas in China: an overview. Ultrasonics sonochemistry. 2004;11(3-4):149-54. Epub 2004/04/15.
    17. Parsons JE, Cain CA, Abrams GD, Fowlkes JB. Pulsed cavitational ultrasound therapy for controlled tissue homogenization. Ultrasound in medicine & biology. 2006;32(1):115-29. Epub 2005/12/21.
    18. Roberts WW, Hall TL, Ives K, Wolf JS, Jr., Fowlkes JB, Cain CA. Pulsed cavitational ultrasound: a noninvasive technology for controlled tissue ablation (histotripsy) in the rabbit kidney. The Journal of urology. 2006;175(2):734-8. Epub 2006/01/13.
    19. Xu Z, Ludomirsky A, Eun LY, Hall TL, Tran BC, Fowlkes JB, et al. Controlled ultrasound tissue erosion. IEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics, and frequency control. 2004;51(6):726-36. Epub 2004/07/13.
    20. Shibin Qu, Tejaswi Worlikar, Amy E Felsted, Anutosh Ganguly, Megan V Beems, Ryan Hubbard, et al. Non-thermal histotripsy tumor ablation promotes abscopal immune responses that enhance cancer immunotherapy. J Immunother Cancer 2020; 8:e000200. doi:10.1136/ jitc-2019-000200

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  • Focused Ultrasound Highlighted at Annual Pain Meeting

    The Foundation’s Director of Clinical Relationships, Suzanne LeBlang, MD, recently attended the World Academy of Pain Medicine United’s (WAPMU) 6th Annual Meeting and Review Workshop in Florida. With the theme of “Innovations in Pain Medicine,” the meeting featured a keynote address by Michael Gofeld, MD, PhD, an Ontario-based anesthesiologist and an expert in treating pain. During his talk, “The King (RFA) is Dead, Long Live the King (HIFU),” Dr. Gofeld discussed his views on how high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) will overtake radiofrequency ablation (RFA) as a standard of care.

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  • International Registry Launched for Focused Ultrasound in Pancreatic Cancer

    The Foundation has launched a multicenter, international registry to evaluate focused ultrasound as a treatment option for patients with pancreatic cancer.

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  • Early Clinical Trial Results on Repeated Blood-brain Barrier Opening Published

    Safety and Feasibility of Multiple Blood-brain Barrier Disruptions for the Treatment of Glioblastoma in Patients Undergoing Standard Adjuvant Chemotherapy

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  • New Platform Aims to Streamline Peer-Review Process

    Review Commons is a new service designed to simplify the peer-review of life science data and facilitate its publication. The platform’s goal is to increase transparency, speed, and efficiency of the review process.

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  • Focused Ultrasound and Gene Therapy Provide Hope for Parkinson's

    Focused ultrasound researchers at Columbia University recently published a paper that is garnering attention in the scientific community and beyond. Available in the Journal of Controlled Release, the group led by Elisa Konofagou, PhD, described their groundbreaking preclinical work using focused ultrasound to deliver targeted gene therapy across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to restore important nerve pathways that are damaged in Parkinson’s disease.

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  • Focused Ultrasound–Assisted Delivery of Stem Cells in Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease: Pilot Study Results

    The results from a collaborative study between SonaCare Medical, physicians at the Arkansas Heart Hospital Vein and Vascular Institute, and NIH scientists were recently published in Molecular Therapy after being presented at the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy’s 22nd Annual Meeting, held April 29-May 2, 2109, in Washington, DC.

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  • Prostate Cancer Trial Results Announced

    Profound Medical announced the final results from their TULSA-PRO ablation clinical trial (TACT) in patients with prostate cancer at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA), which was held May 3-6, 2019, in Chicago. The pivotal study was designed to support Profound’s FDA application to market the device in the United States, and the results show that the study met or surpassed all primary safety and efficacy endpoints.

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  • Ohio State Joins Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial

    The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center recently announced the start of a clinical trial using focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier in patients with Alzheimer's disease. The study, NCT 03671889, is also taking place at the West Virginia University School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medicine.

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  • Clinical Trials Combine Focused Ultrasound with Active Surveillance for Low-Risk Prostate Cancer

    A public-private collaboration in Lyon, France, is underway to develop an alternative therapy for standard prostate cancer treatment. The clinical trial phase of “PERFUSE” recently began enrolling patients, an important milestone in this multi-faceted project.

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  • Society for Neuro-Oncology to Hold Inaugural Conference on Brain Metastases

    As an ideal follow-up to the FDA’s brain metastases workshop, the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) will hold its first conference on brain metastases in August 2019.

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  • Brain Treatment Simulation Software Study Published

    In May 2018, Foundation scientists released Kranion®, a highly visual and interactive, open-source transcranial focused ultrasound modeling system for conducting research. Kranion® allows scientists to “see” how the paths of focused ultrasound’s invisible sound waves behave as they pass through the skull while aiming for a particular target in the brain.

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  • Investigator Profile: Maryland Neurosurgeon Graeme Woodworth

    Following the University of Maryland Medical System’s recent announcement that they are beginning the first US focused ultrasound clinical trial for patients with glioblastoma (GBM), we interviewed the study’s principal investigator (PI), neurosurgeon Graeme Woodworth, MD. Dr. Woodworth is Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of its Brain Tumor Treatment & Research Center. He is researching the use of focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier to provide treatment options for patient with brain tumors (both glioma and metastatic) and other brain diseases. A member of the Foundation’s GBM consortium, Dr. Woodworth also serves on our Research Advisory Committee, a group tasked with ensuring that the External Research Awards Program supports catalytic research, creates awareness of focused ultrasound technology and techniques, and advances innovative clinical applications of focused ultrasound.

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  • Japanese Parkinson’s Trial Builds on Swiss Research

    At Tokyo Women’s Medical University in Japan, Takaomi Taira, MD, PhD, has begun a focused ultrasound trial that is pioneering an approach for treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. He is targeting the pallidothalamic tracts in the brain, an approach that he believes is superior to other targets due in part to their location. 

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  • Parkinson’s Trial in Madrid Investigates Treating a New Target

    A new Parkinson’s disease clinical trial is currently underway in Madrid, Spain.

    Led by José Obeso, MD, the double-blind trial will investigate the safety and efficacy of using Insightec’s Exablate Neuro focused ultrasound device to treat the cardinal features of Parkinson’s disease. Unlike previous studies that treated the levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease by targeting the globus pallidus region of the brain, this trial aims to treat the part of the brain called the subthalamic nucleus. 

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  • Site Profile: The University of Calgary

    University of Calgary researchers with the Hotchkiss Brain Institute in the Cumming School of Medicine are combining expertise and resources to bring the first comprehensive focused ultrasound brain program to Western Canada. Physicians and scientists from the departments of Clinical Neurosciences, Radiology, and Psychiatry have all joined together for this project. Clinical treatments for essential tremorhave begun under the direction of neurosurgeon Dr. Zelma Kiss. Research teams will also conduct basic and clinical research under the direction of Bruce Pike, PhD, professor of Radiology and Clinical Neurosciences. We recently interviewed the Calgary team to learn more about the entire program.

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  • Investigator Profile: Matthew Bucknor, MD

    As the lead clinician at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine in performing focused ultrasound treatments, Matthew Bucknor, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiology, has used the technology to perform more than 30 procedures on 20 patients. This, combined with his prior work at Stanford, makes him one of the most experienced physicians in the country who is treating patients with musculoskeletal diseases using focused ultrasound.

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  • Investigator Profile: Nir Lipsman, MD, PhD

    While completing his doctoral thesis in a deep brain stimulation project at the University of Toronto, Dr. Nir Lipsman began his work in focused ultrasound at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. The overlapping theme at that time – and one that continues in his work today – is applying the latest technological advances to difficult-to-treat brain disorders. An early adopter of focused ultrasound, this neurosurgeon is looking to bring non-invasive solutions to patients as quickly and as safely as possible. He intends to lead the way by collaborating with experts in neurodegenerative disease, psychiatric disorders, and oncology. This approach led him to become the first physician to use focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier in a patient with Alzheimer’s disease as part of a clinical trial.

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  • First Alzheimer’s Trial with Focused Ultrasound Begins

    Charlottesville, VA - May 2, 2017 - Researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto have begun the world’s first clinical trial evaluating the feasibility and safety of opening the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) utilizing focused ultrasound.

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  • Competitions Showcase Research Innovation

    Two competitions are underway to recognize leaders in research innovation and entrepreneurship. We encourage those in the focused ultrasound community to apply.

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  • Insightec Earns CE Mark for Prostate Cancer

    Most known for advancing focused ultrasound applications in the brain, Insightec announced that it has earned the CE Mark to treat the prostate. The Exablate Prostate system is now cleared in Europe to treat patients with locally confined prostate cancer.  Read Insightec's release below.

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  • Physicists in Medicine Meeting Report

    Kullervo Hynynen, PhD, Professor of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto presented a distinguished lecture at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Annual Meeting. The lecture, entitled “Advances in Ultrasound Therapy,” explained the principles, technology, and techniques behind focused ultrasound and its clinical use for drug delivery.

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  • News Flash - First Epilepsy Trial


    World's First Focused Ultrasound Clinical Trial for Epilepsy Begins
    Researchers at the University of Virginia (UVA) are starting the first clinical trial in the world using focused ultrasound to treat patients with epilepsy. The study, supported by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation in collaboration with the Epilepsy Foundation, will assess the feasibility, safety and initial effectiveness of focused ultrasound to non-invasively destroy (ablate) diseased brain tissue that causes seizures.
    The study is now recruiting up to 15 adult patients with a range of rare deep brain lesions that produce debilitating seizures that often do not respond to medications.  It is expected that most patients in the study will have benign tumors in the hypothalamus, which can lead to frequent seizures with outbursts of spontaneous laughing, giggling, crying or grunting; developmental delays and/or precocious puberty. The disorder can progress as patients age, leading to increased cognitive decline and severe behavior problems.
    Current options for patients whose seizures do not respond to medication include surgery or laser thermal ablation, both which may involve multiple risks or complications, such as damage to normal brain, infection or hemorrhage.  The only currently available non-invasive method is radiosurgery with the gamma knife, which may take months to show effect, is not image guided and involves risks of complications from radiation.
    “Intractable epilepsy, especially this type, can be devastating and existing therapies have risks and are not uniformly effective, so many patients are in desperate need of better therapies,” says principal investigator Nathan Fountain, MD, professor of neurology at UVA. “If we are successful in destroying the lesions without complications, then this will be an important step on the path toward developing focused ultrasound to enable patients to have freedom from seizures without the risks of open surgery.”
    Dr. Fountain will collaborate with UVA neurosurgeon Jeff Elias, MD, in conducting the procedures using Insightec’s Exablate Neuro System. Patients seeking further information about the study should contact Stacy Thompson, RN at or Nathan Fountain, MD at .
    Momentum Building for FUS and Epilepsy

    “We are committed to advancing the technical, scientific and clinical work required for focused ultrasound to reach its full potential in treating epilepsy,” said Foundation Chairman Neal Kassell, MD.  “This is the first in a planned series of studies in epilepsy that the Foundation is supporting.”

    In addition to the UVA study, the Foundation plans to support a clinical trial led by Neurosurgeon Vibhor Krishna, MD, at Ohio State University using focused ultrasound to ablate the anterior nucleus of the thalamus in patients with partial-onset epilepsy. 

    Neurosurgeon Tomokatsu Hori at Tokyo Women’s Medical University recently applied focused ultrasound to a patient with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) to assess feasibility of reaching this target. This is the first step that may ultimately lead to a clinical trial to treat TLE.
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  • ISTU Features Live Brain Treatment

    ISTU attendees were virtually transported via teleconference from the meeting space to a high-tech operating room at Rambam Medical Center to witness a live broadcast of a brain focused ultrasound treatment on a patient with essential tremor.

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  • FUS Poised for Growth in Japan

    After nearly 20 years of activity in the country, focused ultrasound may now be positioned for commercial success in Japan.

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  • Investigator Profile: Q&A with Wady Gedroyc

    Dr. Wladyslaw "Wady" Gedroyc, MBBS, MRCP, FRCR is a Consultant Radiologist at St. Mary's Hospital, Imperial College NHS trust and has been a champion of focused ultrasound for 16 years. He has treated more than 600 patients, mostly women with uterine fibroids, at St. Mary’s. The center now treats about one uterine fibroid patient per week, and they are continuing to explore other uses of the technology.

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  • FDA Approves First Focused Ultrasound System for Treating the Prostate

    Charlottesville, Virginia, October 13, 2015 -- The US Food and Drug Administration has approved SonaCare Medical’s Sonablate 450 focused ultrasound system for the ablation of prostate tissue. Focused ultrasound enables treatment of organ-confined prostate disease while preserving surrounding healthy tissue, without radiation or surgery.

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  • Review Article Recommends FUS as Fibroid Treatment Option

    A Clinical Practice Review published in the April 23rd issue of the New England Journal of Medicine by Mayo Clinic Ob/Gyn Elizabeth Stewart, MD, recommends focused ultrasound as an important uterine-conserving treatment that should be an option for women with symptomatic uterine fibroids. We announced its publication on April 30, and it was also featured on the Harvard Health Blog.

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  • Canadian Government Agency Deems FUS as Cost-Effective, Least Invasive Treatment Option for Fibroids

    The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) has recommended focused ultrasound (FUS) as a possible “cost-effective strategy” and a “safe and effective, noninvasive, uterine-preserving” option for women seeking treatment for uterine fibroids.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Used to Heat Brain Tumors

    After battling breast cancer for 12 years, Cynthia received devasting news; the cancer had spread to her brain. That's when Cynthia and her family turned to a clinical trial investigating the use of focused ultrasound.

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  • Study Explores Focused Ultrasound for Alzheimer's Disease

    New research suggests that focused ultrasound may hold answers to one of today’s more devastating diseases - Alzheimer’s

    In a preclinical study, researchers at Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto were able to reverse some Alzheimer’s disease symptoms in mice. The study, funded by the National Institute of Health, used focused ultrasound to temporarily open the blood-brain barrier. Once open, microbubbles can more effectively pass through to the diseased tissue in the brain. The treatment led to improvements in cognition and spatial learning, and did not cause tissue damage or negative behavioral changes.

    Though early-stage, this research could open the doors to more studies and greater possibilities for this innovative technology.

    Read the NIBIB Press Release.

    Read media coverage from DOTmed and Gizmag.

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  • Important Meetings for Your 2015 Calendar

    As we begin the new year, we encourage you to mark your calendars for these important meetings.

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  • Essential Tremor Pivotal Trial Enrollment Complete

    InSightec has completed enrollment in the pivotal study of their ExAblate Neuro system for the treatment of essential tremor. Physicians at eight sites worldwide have now treated 76 patients in the trial. The first randomized, controlled trial of unilateral MR-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy with InSightec’s system began in August 2013 and completed enrollment in September 2014. Results will be submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for regulatory approval of the device. The pivotal study was designed based on the clinical outcome of the initial 15-patient pilot study that was conducted from 2011 to 2012 and published in an August 2013 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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  • FUS Experts Believe Brain and Cancer Applications Have Most Potential to Improve QOL

    The Foundation conducted a survey of 150 members of the focused ultrasound community on the state of the field prior to the October 2014 Symposium.

    Respondents were asked to identify which clinical indications were most likely to improve patients’ quality of life. Neurological and oncological indications are tied for the most votes, with brain tumors, essential tremor, and pancreatic cancer being rated as the top three individual indications. Similarly, respondents were asked to rank the top three bioeffects that are most likely to have long-term therapeutic value. Thermal ablation is ranked first, followed by drug delivery and neuromodulation.

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  • Update from California Brain Tumor Patient

    “It started as a leap of faith and ultimately turned into a miracle.” That is how Cheryl Hanson describes the experience traveling from California to Switzerland in order for her husband, Dr. Peter Baginsky, to undergo focused ultrasound treatment of his aggressive glioblastoma brain cancer. As we reported in March, Peter was the first person to have a portion of his brain tumor thermally ablated through the intact skull using focused ultrasound.

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  • Chinese Expert in Focused Ultrasound Visits Foundation, UVA

    Lian Zhang, MD, gastroenterologist with the Clinical Center for Tumor Therapy, Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing University of Medical Sciences, met with Alan Matsumoto, MD, Co-Director of the UVA Focused Ultrasound Center.

    Dr. Zhang is a leading clinician in the field, having been involved with focused ultrasound for more than 10 years. Chongqing Haifu’s focused ultrasound system is currently approved in China and Europe to treat uterine fibroids, breast cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, soft tissue tumors, and pain control for pancreatic cancer and bone metastases. The technology is quite established for uterine fibroids, with more than 100 Chongqing Haifu systems in OB/GYN offices around China.

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  • Meeting Highlights FUS as Potential Key Treatment of 21st Century

    Speakers at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) Annual Meeting in Vienna, Austria, lauded the potential for Focused Ultrasound to be one of the most important treatment options on the horizon. reported on the conference, speaking with leaders in the focused ultrasound field about the key applications discussed.

    Uterine fibroids remains the most widely approved application of focused ultrasound, with the potential to help countless women. Discussion centered on ideas to overcome the slow adoption rates to date.

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  • Foundation Publishes Global Report on Focused Ultrasound – A Resource for all Stakeholders

    The Focused Ultrasound Foundation has published its January 2014 Focused Ultrasound Global Perspective report, a comprehensive overview of the state of the technology, including facts and figures on approved indications, manufacturers, research centers, and treatment sites. This report will serve as a trusted resource for academia, government, industry, and investors, enabling them to monitor progress in the field and guide decision making.

    The report is now available on our website. An update will be produced every six months, identifying significant research and commercialization trends for the technology.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Makes Cover of DOTmed HealthCare Business News

    Focused ultrasound secured a spot on the front page of the January 2014 issue of DOTmed HeathCare Business News.  The article, which asks “is focused ultrasound medicine’s best kept secret,” chronicles the conception of the technology and details the current state of development and adoption for some important conditions, including uterine fibroids, Essential Tremor, Parkinson’s disease, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and prostate cancer. It also covers next steps for the technology, including the arena of widespread reimbursement.

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  • Parkinson's Dyskinesia Study Begins

    A major milestone in the evolution of the field of focused ultrasound has been achieved. The first treatment in a 20-patient pilot study assessing the feasibility, safety, and preliminary efficacy of MR-guided focused ultrasound for dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease was successfully performed in Korea. This groundbreaking study is being funded in partnership with the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

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  • Gail ter Haar Draws a Crowd at FDA to Discuss FUS Quality Assurance and Standardization

    Focused ultrasound physics pioneer Professor Gail ter Haar, head of the Foundation’s Center of Excellence at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, traveled with Foundation staff to Washington to deliver a presentation to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on her team’s work in quality assurance and standardization of high intensity focused ultrasound.

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  • Nature Neuroscience: Focused Ultrasound Enhances the Brain’s Sensory Perception

    As reported in the current issue of Nature Neuroscience, scientists on Dr. William J. Tyler’s research team at Virginia Tech were interested in using focused ultrasound to noninvasively modify human brain function. They targeted sensory areas of the brain and were surprised by their findings: low-intensity focused ultrasound significantly improved function by decreasing impulses to the median nerve in the arm thereby enhancing the patients’ ability to discriminate between different kinds of stimulation. Secondly, they were impressed that the focused ultrasound could target smaller, more specific areas in the brain as compared to other neuromodulation technologies.

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  • Wladyslaw Gedroyc Named Editor of the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound, Which Is Now Indexed on PubMed

    Focused ultrasound pioneer Dr. Wladyslaw Gedroyc has been named Clinical Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound(JTU), replacing start-up editor Dr. Arik Hananel.

    A consultant radiologist, Dr. Gedroyc is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in the development of noninvasive patient treatments using MR-guided focused ultrasound. Much of Dr. Gedroyc's ground-breaking work involved the treatment of uterine fibroids, pancreatic tumors, and liver tumors. He is currently investigating a focused ultrasound application to alleviate the severe back pain associated with facet joint disease.

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  • Dr. Jeff Elias’s TEDx Talk Available Online

    In October, Dr. Jeff Elias of the University of Virginia awed the TEDx Charlottesville audience of nearly 1,000 as he spoke about the transformational effects of focused ultrasound, including "before and after" video of his patients eating, writing, and reaching while living with essential tremor. See the talk that brought the crowd to its feet.


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  • Focused Ultrasound for Parkinson's Disease Featured in Practical Neurology

    Focused ultrasound treatment for Parkinson's disease was featured as the cover story in the December issue of Practical Neurology.

    The article consisted of a Q&A with Dr. Binit B. Shah, MD, Assistant Professor, Neurology, Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Division at University of Virginia.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Breast Research - December 2013 Update

    Additional research is being conducted around the world on breast cancer and breast fibroadenoma. For example, collaboration between Philips and Utrecht University Medical Center in the Netherlands is using an innovative system that has been designed specifically to treat breast tissue.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Featured at RSNA 2013

    Focused ultrasound research presentations made an impressive showing at this year’s RSNA annual meeting. A remarkable 27 sessions featured research on focused ultrasound ablation and/or drug delivery to treat many different diseases, including breast cancer, bone metastases, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma, uterine fibroids, and osteoid osteoma.

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  • Promising Results in FUS Breast Cancer Study

    Results of a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) suggest MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) may offer a safe, noninvasive treatment option for breast cancer.

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  • Radiology Today Features MR Guided Focused Ultrasound

    Radiology Today magazine featured a balanced article detailing the uses of focused ultrasound to treat a wide variety of disorders such as uterine fibroids, bone mets pain, essential tremor, Parkinson's disease, and more.

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  • FUSF Brain Workshop: White Paper Available Online

    Experts who gathered at the June Brain Workshop were successful in identifying major opportunities and challenges for expanding the area in the brain that can be treated with focused ultrasound. Event details, including issues discussed and long-term projects, were reported in ourJuly newsletter.

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  • American Society For Radiation Oncology: 2013 Annual Meeting Highlights

    The Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) was held in Atlanta on September 22-25, 2013. This meeting is the largest assembly of radiation oncology physicians and researchers in the world. Focused ultrasound has a growing and important role in clinical research in radiation oncology, and highlights included:

    1. J. E. Meyer from the Fox Chase Cancer Center presented their work on the pain palliation of bone metastases using focused ultrasound. Their retrospective analysis showed breast cancer metastases as having the best response rate (87%), which may impact future patient selection and treatment decisions.

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  • Foundation’s Patient Survey Demonstrates Impact of Fibroids and Preference for Noninvasive Treatment

    The Foundation’s patient advocacy program, Fibroid Relief, has been garnering nationwide media coverage of a newly published survey that found that uterine fibroids cause significant fear and morbidity and can compromise workplace performance. It also found that women prefer treatment options that are not invasive and protect fertility (like focused ultrasound).

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  • Experts Share Latest Advances at Rome Symposium

    More than 200 clinicians and scientists from Europe and across the globe gathered in Rome this month for the Focused Ultrasound Therapy - 2nd European Symposium, which was supported by the Foundation.

    “The symposium more than met our goals of sharing knowledge and stimulating new ideas,” said symposium co-chair Alessandro Napoli, MD, PhD, of Sapienza University of Rome. “The meeting helped to establish and consolidate relations, foster discussion of research approaches, and fuel advances in the field.”

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  • First Patient Treated in Essential Tremor Pivotal Trial

    The first essential tremor patient in the pivotal trial for the ExAblate Neuro Focused Ultrasound System has been treated at Stanford, and the study is starting at the University of Virginia, Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle, and Yonsei University Medical Center in Seoul, Korea.

    The trial is a multicenter, double-blinded, randomized study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of treatment using the ExAblate Neuro in medication-refractory essential tremor patients. The study builds upon promising pilot studies funded by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation that demonstrated the preliminary safety and effectiveness of FUS in treating target areas deep inside the brain. These studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicineand The Lancet Neurology.

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  • Merkin Fellowship Position Open

    The Foundation is now seeking applicants for the Richard Merkin Visiting Fellowship in Focused Ultrasound, created by Richard Merkin, MD, to foster collaboration between the Foundation and other institutions .

    The Fellowship in Focused Ultrasound is open to any mid-career or senior scientist or clinician from industry or academia around the world to work with the technical and scientific team at the Focused Ultrasound Foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia for about 12 months. The position will foster collaboration between the Foundation, the Fellow's home institution, and other institutions and will be paid through an annualized stipend of $150,000.

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  • Experts Discuss Research Direction at Blood-Brain Barrier Workshop

    The Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the Kinetics Foundation organized a workshop in September to discuss the state of the technology, current challenges, and future research directions for using focused ultrasound to reversibly open the blood-brain barrier to allow the delivery of drugs directly to the brain for treatment of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other central nervous system disorders.

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  • Pioneer in Focused Ultrasound Cancer Treatment Named Honorary President for 2014 Symposium

    Feng Wu, MD, PhD, has been selected as Honorary President of the 4th International Symposium on Current and Future Applications of Focused Ultrasound to be held October 12-16, 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland.

    Wu has been a steadfast champion of focused ultrasound for more than 25 years. To date, his teams in China have treated more than 50,000 tumor patients, the largest population of focused ultrasound-treated patients in the world. Now living in England, Wu is a Focused Ultrasound Consultant and Senior Clinical Scientist at Oxford University. He is a leading researcher in the field, having published more than 200 papers. In 2013, he was awarded the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound’s William and Francis Fry Award for his outstanding contributions to the field.

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  • First Patient Treated for Essential Tremor in Phase III Clinical Trial

    The first essential tremor patient in the pivotal trial for the ExAblate Neuro Focused Ultrasound System has been treated at Stanford, and the study is starting at the University of Virginia, Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle, and Yonsei University Medical Center in Seoul, Korea.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Research Published in New England Journal of Medicine

    The New England Journal of Medicine published the promising results of a pilot trial on the use of transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat patients with essential tremor (ET).

    The results indicate that focused ultrasound can safely and effectively treat targeted areas deep in the brain.  The study included 15 patients with essential tremor that could not be managed by medication who underwent a completely noninvasive unilateral thalamotomy using an investigational focused ultrasound device. The study was led by W. Jeffrey Elias, MD, (shown above with the ET patients) neurosurgeon at the University of Virginia, and funded by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.

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  • Michael J Fox Foundation Awards Grant for Parkinson’s Study

    The Focused Ultrasound Foundation was recently awarded a $600,000 grant by The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to help fund a pilot study of focused ultrasound for the treatment of dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease.  The study will investigate the feasibility, safety and preliminary effectiveness of focused ultrasound as a non-invasive method to destroy a small volume of targeted tissue in the brain to improve motor symptoms and reduce the involuntary movements (dyskinesia) faced by Parkinson’s patients.

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  • Study Reports Significant Bone Mets Pain Relief Using Focused Ultrasound

    A high-dose of ultrasound targeted to painful bone metastases appears to quickly bring patients relief, and with largely tolerable side effects, according to new research presented by Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on Monday, June 3.

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  • 2013 American Association of Physicists in Medicine Annual Meeting - Agenda

    Ultrasound Symposium Agenda - Tuesday, August 6

    Session 1: Clinical Delivery and Advanced Novel Technologies/Strategies

    Moderators: Chang Ming Charlie Ma, Fox Chase Cancer Center and Cyril Lafon, INSERM, University of Lyon

    8:00 AM               Clinical Delivery and Advanced Novel Technologies/Strategies

                                    Presenters: N. Sanghvi, A. Hananel, M. Hurwitz, C. Moonen

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  • Researchers File Patent for FUS Method That Reduces Cardiac Impairment After Heart Attack

    Researchers from the Bonn University Hospital in Germany have filed a patent application for a focused ultrasound method that reduces impairment of cardiac function after an acute heart attack. In the method, microbubbles are injected into the bloodstream following a heart attack. When the bubbles reach the heart, stimulation with focused ultrasound causes them to oscillate and ameliorate the muscle damage that normally occurs after cardiac arrest.

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  • American Urologists Show Strong Interest in HIFU

    From the level of traffic at its booth to the “Best Poster” honors bestowed on two abstracts featuring its HIFU treatment for prostate cancer, focused ultrasound device maker EDAP TMS reported a “heightened level of interest and enthusiasm” among physicians and others attending the 2013 meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) in May. Now in use in 29 countries, EDAP’s prostate cancer treatment device – the Ablatherm – is awaiting regulatory approval in the U.S.

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  • Canadian Study Assessing Thermal Ultrasound Treatment for Prostate Cancer

    Patients with localized prostate cancer are receiving treatment in a new clinical study assessing the safety of a transurethral ultrasound ablation system developed by Toronto-based Profound Medical Inc. The system, which uses a specially designed wand to deliver thermal ablative therapy, operates under MR guidance. It works on a variety of MRI platforms, can be moved from scanner to scanner and treats the whole prostate gland in one session.

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  • Seattle Center To Be a Major Force in Focused Ultrasound Brain Studies

    First patient trial at Swedish Medical Center will be for essential tremor

    One of the most prestigious neuroscience centers in the world is gearing up to become a major clinical force in MR-guided focused ultrasound brain research. Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) at the Cherry Hill campus of Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, USA will soon treat patients with essential tremor as part of  an upcoming Phase III multicenter randomized trial and is considering studies for epilepsy, Parkinsonian tremor, metastatic tumors and intracerebral hemorrhage.

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  • Industry Trade Reports on Positive Essential Tremor Data Using Focused Ultrasound

    The Gray Sheet, a cornerstone medical device publication for the healthcare industry, touts promising data on FUS for essential tremor and recognizes the Foundation's unique model in supporting research.

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  • Multi-center Pivotal Trial Will Be the Next Step in Evaluating Focused Ultrasound as Essential Tremor Treatment

    The encouraging results of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation-funded essential tremor Phase I pilot clinical trial at the University of Virginia have led to planning for the next data-gathering step required for regulatory approval: a global, multi-site pivotal Phase III study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound in treating essential tremor. Device maker InSightec, Ltd., which is sponsoring the study, has obtained U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a double-arm protocol and expects as many as eight sites and 72 patients to participate.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Reduces Tremor, Improves Quality of Life for ET Patients Study Shows

    AANS PRESS RELEASE Embargoed until April 29, 2013, 2:30 p.m. CDTContact:John A. IwanskiDirector of Member and Public Outreach(847) 378-0517 |

    Subjects of Phase I Study of Transcranial MR-guided Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy See Reduced Tremor,Improved Quality of Life

    NEW ORLEANS (April 29, 2013) — Research findings offered today during the 81st American Association ofNeurological Surgeons (AANS) Annual Scientific Meeting show that the use of transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasoundfor producing a thalamotomy can have significant positive effects on subjects suffering from essential tremor.

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  • Pioneering Patients Tell the World About Their Focused Ultrasound Treatment

    Many of the 15 patients who participated in the Focused Ultrasound Foundation-funded pilot essential tremor study at the University of Virginia have stepped forward to share their story with the news media. By doing so, they have added a new dimension to the role patient participants play in advancing a promising new medical technology. Their courage and their stories have touched people around the world and spurred interest in using noninvasive sound waves instead of scalpels to treat movement disorders.

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  • Hospital for Sick Children Researching Focused Ultrasound as Treatment for Pediatric Bone Tumors, Stroke and Epilepsy

    When James Drake, MD submitted his proposal for the “Chase an Idea” grant, pediatric focused ultrasound was the idea he wanted to chase. Drake, the chief of neurosurgery at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada, understood the potential of focused ultrasound and was eager to explore its use in children. Receipt of that grant, from the Centre for Brain and Behavior at SickKids, provided the means to establish the Center for Image Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI) with Drake at the helm.

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  • Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound Launched

    The growing field of therapeutic ultrasound welcomes its first open access journal


    Open access publisher BioMed Central is proud to announce the launch of Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound in partnership with the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound.

    Therapeutic ultrasound is a fast growing field and all parties involved believe that having a dedicated open access journal in this area can only speed up the development and eventual adoption of this important clinical tool by the wider medical community.

    Focused ultrasound has the potential to be an alternative or complement for radiation therapy, the means to dissolve blood clots, and a way to deliver drugs in extremely high concentrations to a precise point in the body. It has the potential to treat a variety of serious medical disorders, including cancer, uterine fibroids, essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and neuropathic pain.  

    “Focused ultrasound technology has enormous potential to improve the quality of lives for millions around the world,” noted Neal F. Kassell, M.D., Chairman and Founder of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “The research reported in the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound will be central to advancing the field and will help accelerate the progress of focused ultrasound towards clinical adoption.” 

    Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound encompasses all aspects of therapeutic ultrasound, namely, the stimulus, inhibition, or modification of tissue function or structure via insonification. Led by Editors-in-Chief Arik Hananel, Focused Ultrasound  Foundation, USA and Robert Muratore, Quantum Now LLC, USA, with an international editorial board consisting of the best in the field of focused ultrasound, this open access, peer-reviewed, online journal focuses mainly on translational and clinical research.

    Deborah Kahn, BioMed Central’s Publishing Director said, "We’re very pleased to welcome the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound as new publishing partners to BioMed Central, and we share their excitement in launching the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound within our growing list of society journals."

    The launch edition includes two research articles. One looks at the impact of vaporized nanoemulsions on ultrasound-mediated ablation. If these results can be replicated in the clinic, microbubbles could improve the efficiency of high intensity ultrasound treatment of solid tumors. An editorial on ‘The Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound - broadening knowledge in a rapidly growing field’ by Editors-in-Chief Arik Hananel and Robert Muratore, is also featured. 

    All Article-Processing Charges (APC) for the journal are currently covered by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.

    Media Contact
    Rebecca Fairbairn
    Public Relations Manager, BioMed Central
    Tel:  +44 (0) 20 3192 2433
    Mob: +44 (0) 7825 257423


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  • St. Vincent’s Hospital (Australia) Assessing Focused Ultrasound as a Treatment for High Blood Pressure

    Patient recruitment is underway at St. Peter’s Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria for a clinical trial assessing the safety of a focused ultrasound system in treating patients with drug-resistant hypertension. Manufactured by privately-held, US-based Kona Medical, the system is designed to noninvasively ablate renal nerves, which play a significant role in determining blood pressure. Entitled, “A Feasibility Study: A Safety Evaluation of Renal Denervation Using Focused Therapeutic Ultrasound on Patients With Refractory Hypertension,” the study is expected to treat as many as 20 patients between now and September 2013 and follow them for 24 weeks. Principal Investigator is Robert Whitbourn, MD. Further information can be obtained by emailing Catherine Peeler at .

    Continue reading >

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