Patient News

  • First Clinical Trial Combining Focused Ultrasound and an Immuno-Oncology Drug Begins for Breast Cancer

    A ground-breaking clinical trial for women diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast canceris now enrolling patients at the University of Virginia Health System.

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  • Clinical Trial Begins in Canada for Facet Arthritis Low Back Pain

    A new focused ultrasound company, FUSMobile, has opened enrollment for its first clinical study in Canada.

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  • 12-Year-Old Osteoid Osteoma Patient Back to Scoring Goals, Turning Double Plays after Focused Ultrasound Treatment

    John Pizzi was an active, athletic young boy excelling in both soccer and baseball when, at age 11, his mother says he started experiencing severe, persistent pain in one of his legs. Thinking perhaps he had shin splints or a stress fracture, John’s parents tried various home remedies including icing and ibuprofen, but nothing provided permanent relief.

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  • Raising Awareness about Essential Tremor among Consumers

    The Foundation recently spoke with Rick Schallhorn, Vice President of Neurosurgery, and Xen Mendelsohn Aderka, Vice President of Marketing, for Israel-based Insightec, the company behind focused ultrasound technology for essential tremor (ET). They share their efforts to increase awareness for the focused ultrasound treatment for ET.

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  • Cancer Research Institute Hosts Patient Summit Series

    The Cancer Research Institute kicked off their 2017 Immunotherapy Patient Summit Series with the first event in San Francisco on July 8.

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  • Essential Tremor Marks One Year Since FDA Approval

    The field of focused ultrasound achieved a critical milestone in July 2016 with the approval of the first ever brain indication for the technology in the US. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Insightec’s Exablate Neuro focused ultrasound system for the non-invasive treatment of essential tremor (ET), the most common movement disorder.

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  • Parkinson’s Patient Honored at University of Maryland Gala

    To mark the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s 210th anniversary, the School held its annual gala in Baltimore on April 29th. A focused ultrasound patient and advocate, Kimberly Spletter, co-chaired the event.

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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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  • First Focused Ultrasound Pediatric Brain Tumor Study Begins

    Researchers at Nicklaus Children’s Hospitalin Miami, Florida have performed the first procedure in a pediatric and young adult brain tumor study. The trial aims to demonstrate feasibility and safety of using focused ultrasound to ablate a variety of benign tumors located in the central part of the brain in ten patients, ages 8 to 22. Left untreated, these tumors often cause seizures, cognitive delays, or other complications as they grow.

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  • Dr. Oz Highlights Focused Ultrasound at Live Event

    On April 1, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Emmy Award-winning host of The Dr. Oz Show, hosted a live health and safety festival at the Gardens Mall in South Florida that featured an educational seminar on focused ultrasound technology. During “Sound Waves Replace Surgery,” three physicians, including the Foundation’s Chief Medical Officer, Suzanne LeBlang, MD, spoke on why they are passionate about using the technology and how it is changing patients’ lives.

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  • Parkinson’s Patient Hits the Ground Running after Focused Ultrasound

    Beginning at age 25, Steve noticed he was losing control of his grip. “I was working a mobile repair service that installed new airbags and interior components in vehicles that had been in a wreck,” he explains. “I started to lose my ability to hold tools, turn screwdrivers, and use wrenches effectively.” After visiting several local neurologists, Steve was referred to Dr. Shannon at Rush University in Chicago and was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease.

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  • Outlook is “Sunny” for Artist Treated with Focused Ultrasound

    For most of her life, Michigan resident Kristin “Sunny” Berry was able to manage her tremors enough to continue her beloved artistic hobbies.

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  • Movement Disorder Patients In the News

    As focused ultrasound becomes more widespread, many more patients’ lives are being transformed – especially those with movement disorders like essential tremor and Parkinson’s.Watch three patients share their stories about how the treatment changed their outlook through the news media.

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  • Jacksonville Mom of Two: “Curawave Gave Me My Active Life Back”

    A 40-year old mother of two with symptomatic uterine fibroids was treated in August 2016 by Dr. Suzanne LeBlang at her clinic in Boca Raton, Florida. The Focused Ultrasound Foundation interviewed her to learn more about her experience with fibroids and how the treatment dramatically improved her symptoms and her life. 

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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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  • 21st Century Cures Act Signed by Obama

    President Obama has signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act. This sweeping legislation will bring US health care innovation infrastructure into the 21st Century, deliver hope for patients and loved ones, and provide resources for researchers to uncover the next generation of cures.

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  • Medicare Establishes Payment Level for Treatment of Tremor

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has set the institutional payment for focused ultrasound treatment for essential tremor at approximately $10,000. After two years CMS will reevaluate the payment level based on the actual costs of treatments performed during that interval.

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  • Lockharts Honor Son by Funding Fellowship

    At the behest of Gene and Terry Lockhart, the Focused Ultrasound Foundation has established the Andrew J. Lockhart Fellowship for focused ultrasound research into solid tumors to honor their son Andrew who passed away in September 2016 after a hard-fought battle with cancer at the age of 39.

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  • Advertising Pioneer Supports Foundation

    Advertising technology pioneer Michael Donovan, Vice Chairman of Mediaocean, is no stranger to revolutionary ideas. Donovan supports the Foundation’s work to ensure that a game-changing technology like focused ultrasound will fulfill its potential to transform the future of medicine. Donovan met Foundation Chairman Neal Kassell, MD, in Wyoming and was immediately captivated by the promise of medical innovation to change the world. He recently gave one million dollars to support the Foundation.

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  • Essential Tremor Patient Visits Symposium

    Just a week after undergoing FUS for his tremor at the University of Maryland, Peter Muller visited the Symposium to meet some of the leading researchers in the field and the innovators at Insightec that developed the technology.

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  • University of Maryland Center of Excellence Dedicated to Brain Research

    In recognition of their leadership in advancing focused ultrasound research for the brain, the Foundation is pleased to designate the University of Maryland as a Center of Excellence.

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  • Al Jazeera Video Features Essential Tremor Patient

    Al Jazeera's program "The Cure" follows Sunny, an essential tremor patient at Ohio State University as she undergoes focused ultrasound to ease her tremors.  

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  • Fibroid Education Center Launches Curawave in Florida

    With grant support from Insightec and promotional assistance from Fibroid Relief, the newly formed Fibroid Education Center held an event on June 12 in Boca Raton to launch its “Curawave” focused ultrasound treatment center.

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  • Health Canada Approves INSIGHTEC’S Exablate Neuro System for the Treatment of Essential Tremor

     

    The following is a press release from InSightec announcing essential tremor approval in Canada. View the release on Insightec's website >



    Haifa, Israel (May 24th, 2016). INSIGHTEC, the leader in MR guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) therapy announces today that Health Canada has approved its Exablate Neuro system for the treatment of essential tremor.

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  • First Siblings Treated with FUS for Tremor

    Mark Nemschoff and Muffin Nemschoff Alschuler spent years watching their mother’s quality of life deteriorate as her tremor progressed to where she had great difficulty feeding herself for the last 20 years of her life. And then both of them felt their own tremor progressing, and sought relief.

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  • Sunny Forecast for Meteorologist Treated with Focused Ultrasound for Prostate Cancer

    Reed Yadon was living a busy life in Kentucky as a television meteorologist and helicopter pilot when he says his world suddenly changed. After a routine annual physical revealed his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level had increased, a urologist confirmed one of his worst fears: he had prostate cancer.

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  • HIFU Prostate Services Partners with Physicians for Success

    In the wake of FDA approval, HIFU Prostate Services (HPS) has been created to facilitate rapid adoption of focused ultrasound treatment for the prostate. We interviewed John Linn, Chief Executive Officer of HPS, to better understand the company’s plans for successful commercialization of FUS technology in the US, patient support and recruitment, and physician support and training. HPS is the first company to establish centers in the US offering SonaCare’s Sonablate HIFU technology.

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  • FUS and the Prostate

    Prostate ablation is the leading application of focused ultrasound, having been used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), partial gland cancer, localized whole-gland cancer, and recurrent cancer. While HIFU may be helpful, active surveillance may be the most appropriate approach for early disease. In cases where the physician recommends treatment or the patient prefers treatment, focused ultrasound may be a good alternative.

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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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  • Parkinson’s Patient No Longer Just Spinning Her Wheels

    For Kimberly Spletter, bike rides had always been a source of relaxation, until she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. She could no longer safely balance on her bike and had to turn to riding a stationary bike instead, as the uncontrollable movements associated with the illness even compromised her ability to walk.

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  • World’s First FUS Treatment on a Patient with Orthopedic Hardware

    Researchers at Stanford University have been able to use MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) to treat a patient’s cancer pain in her right hip, after failed radiation and placement of orthopedic hardware.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Foundation Featured as Leading Philanthropy By Virginia Business

    The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is featured on the cover of the annual Generous Virginians issue of Virginia Business magazine out this June and now available online.

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  • Teenage Patient Captivates Audience at Foundation Event

    An event on May 11 hosted by the Foundation in Charlottesville allowed more than 150 supporters, community leaders, scientists, and others to hear about the latest research advances and meet one special patient.

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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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  • 21st Century Cures Legislation: Accelerating the Rate of Cures

    Last May, members of the US House of Representatives announced the 21st Century Cures initiative to keep America at the forefront of medical innovation.

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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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  • Focused Ultrasound featured on Fox News

    In a recent Fox News interview, Carol Alt, host of A Healthy You, sat down with Lisa Davis, host of It’s Your Health Network, to talk about focused ultrasound.

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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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  • University of Maryland to Become Major Focused Ultrasound Neuroscience Research Center

    Patients from Across the Country Participating in Essential Tremor Trial

    The University of Maryland’s pioneering Neuroscience Center in Baltimore is poised to become a leading hub for focused ultrasound research. They recently began treating patients in the pivotal trial to treat essential tremor using InSightec’s Exablate Neuro system.

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  • North American first in children: SickKids doctors destroy bone tumour using incisionless surgery

    The following release was issued by The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) on August 6, 2014. View the release in their press room. 

    TORONTO – A patient at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is the first child in North America to have undergone a specialized procedure that uses ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to destroy a tumour in his leg without piercing the skin. Doctors used an MRI to guide high-intensity ultrasound waves to destroy a benign bone tumour called osteoid osteoma. The lesion had caused 16-year-old Jack Campanile excruciating pain for a year prior to the July 17 procedure. By the time he went to bed that night, the athletic teen experienced complete pain relief.

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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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  • Focal Prostate Cancer Study Begins at City of Hope

    A new InSightec study to determine feasibility and safety of using the ExAblate System to treat localized, low-risk prostate cancer has begun in California. Jeffrey Wong, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Associate Director of the Prostate Cancer program at City of Hope in Duarte, California is the principle investigator at City of Hope. The study will begin enrolling at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and other locations. City of Hope is the first U.S. site to treat a patient enrolled in this study. 

    Patients who are interested in this study, should contact Maria Brooks at City of Hope (626) 256-4673 ext 64402, or Connie Sathre at Mayo Clinic (507) 538-0540, .

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  • Focused Ultrasound Clinical Trial for Breast Fibroadenoma Gains FDA Approval

    Theraclion, a manufacturer of focused ultrasound equipment based in France, announced today that they have attained approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a feasibility study in the United States. Their device, EchoPulse, uses ultrasound-imaging to guide the treatment of breast fibroadenoma using focused ultrasound. Breast fibroadenoma are benign tumors of the breast, and it is estimated that 10% of women will experience them in their lifetime.  

    Theraclion will collaborate with the University of Virginia on this study, evaluating 20 patients to prove safety and efficacy of the treatment. This trial is considered first phase, and a multicenter pivotal study is planned upon the trial’s completion.

    Read the release. 

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  • Stanford Recruiting Patients in Soft Tissue Tumor Study

    Researchers at Stanford University are now recruiting 30 patients to participate in a feasibility study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of focused ultrasound for treating soft tissue tumors, such as sarcoma or desmoid tumors. This study is being led by radiologist Dr. Pejman Ghanouni and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Raffi Avedian. Drs. Ghanouni and Avedian received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval and were awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to conduct this study based on their experience treating five patients on a compassionate use basis. The pair plans to present their preliminary findings at the ISTU meeting in April.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • BBC Reports on Focused Ultrasound Parkinsonian Tremor Treatment

    The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) visited the University of Virginia earlier this year to document a patient being treated as part of the ongoing Parkinsonian Tremor clinical trial, led by UVA Neurosurgeon W. Jeffrey Elias, MD and funded by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.

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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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  • BBC Features Parkinsonian Tremor Treatment

    The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) visited the University of Virginia earlier this year to document a patient being treated as part of the ongoing Parkinsonian Tremor clinical trial, led by UVA Neurosurgeon W. Jeffrey Elias, MD and funded by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.

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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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  • 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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  • TED Talks - Focused Ultrasound for Brain Lesions

     

     

     

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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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  • 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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  • ET Patients Set and Met Goals for Their Focused Ultrasound Treatment

    The 15 patients who enrolled in the Focused Ultrasound Foundation-funded essential tremor (ET) study at the University of Virginia are true medical pioneers. Prior to their focused ultrasound treatment, most had lived with ET for decades. All had become severely disabled by it. Each believed they had run out of viable treatment options until learning about the promise and possibilities of focused ultrasound. Bravely stepping forward to join the study, each identified three outcomes they wanted to experience.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Proud to Be #1: Billy R. Williams

    One of Billy R. Williams’ most cherished possessions is a photo album chronicling the day he made medical history by becoming the first person in the world to undergo focused ultrasound treatment for essential tremor. “I always wanted to be Number 1 at something, and this was it,” he says of his participation in the Focused Ultrasound Foundation-funded pilot essential tremor study at the University of Virginia. His treatment experience, which has been reported in print and video interviews, has inspired thousands and offered new hope to others in the essential tremor community.

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  • FUS Proves Safe, Effective in Treating Patients with Facet Joint Osteoarthritis

    European Radiology has e-published ahead of print the results of a Foundation-funded pilot clinical trial in which Evan M. Weeks, MD and his colleagues at St. Mary’s Hospital in London used focused ultrasound to successfully treat 18 patients with low back pain caused by facet joint osteoarthritis.

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  • Update: Focused Ultrasound Patient Doris McArdle Still in the Swing of Life at Age 91

    During a June 2 golf tournament, 91-year-old Doris McArdle stepped up to the tee and took a full swing, typical of her approach to life. Nineteen months ago, McArdle was struggling with acute pain and discomfort caused by a large benign pancreatic tumor. Thanks to a series of fortuitous events and a vast amount of personal courage, she travelled to St. Mary’s Hospital in London where she received focused ultrasound treatment on a compassionate care basis. READ STORY

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  • American Urologists Express Increased Interest in Focused Ultrasound

    Recent comments by executives of EDAP TMS and US HIFU indicate that interest in focused ultrasound treatment for prostate cancer is increasing among members of the American Urological Association. Marc Oczachowski, Chief Executive Officer of EDAP TMS, said that the company “experienced record attendance and exceptional enthusiasm from U.S. urologists” at its exhibit booth at the AUA meeting, which was held May 19–23, 2012 in Atlanta. He noted that “awareness levels are building” as the company prepares for to submit its Ablatherm-HIFU filing to the US FDA later this year.

    Mike Klein, US HIFU Chief Executive Officer said, "We have an unprecedented number of meetings scheduled at AUA.” He added that the company, which is conducting US clinical trials of its Sonoblate system, was “actively seeking insight from urologists to guide the development of HIFU technologies to further enhance the safety and efficacy and identify areas of interest to focus studies and clinical trials for a wide range of applications." READ PRESS RELEASE

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  • A Year After Treatment, Billy Williams Still "Very Happy" With FUS

    Billy R. Williams is proud to be the first patient in the world to receive focused ultrasound treatment for essential tremor. A year after his procedure, which marked the beginning of the ground-breaking pilot clinical trial at the University of Virginia, he reports being "very, very happy" with treatment results. In a video interview, Williams and UVA neurological physical therapist Diane Huss, PhD, say that some tremor has returned but is being managed by a small and well-tolerated drug dose.

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  • Utah Researchers Developing Focused Ultrasound System to Treat Breast Tumors

    Known as a luminary in medical imaging, Dennis L. Parker, PhD is currently devoting much of his time to focused ultrasound. Parker, a professor of Radiology at the University of Utah and Director of the Utah Center for Advanced Imaging Research (UCAIR), is co-leading the development of a high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) system for breast tumors.

    The project’s origins trace back to 2003 when Utah purchased its first MRI scanner from Siemens. “Because the Siemens MRI scanner was very open as far as its software architecture, our students were able to very, very quickly establish a closed feedback loop feeding images out of the scanner into the ultrasound controlling computer that we had at the time,” Parker recalls. This led to the development of a closed-loop MRI guided focused ultrasound system.

    “When Siemens came to visit in 2004, they actually decided to pick up that project and provided some funding,” he notes. At the time, Image Guided Therapy (IGT), a French medical device maker, had just designed a phased-array focused ultrasound transducer.

    “Siemens purchased that device and placed it in Utah as IGT’s first large animal focused ultrasound system,” Parker adds. “Ever since that time, we’ve been working with them.”

    By 2006, Parker and his collaborators decided that the best candidate site for their system would be the breast, and they applied for funding from the National Institutes of Health to develop a prototype. “It was an academic/industrial partnership,” he says. “We were very lucky. We were funded on the first submittal, which is very rare, but we were delighted.”

    His collaborators on the project represent numerous disciplines and several departments at the University of Utah. In addition to Parker, the team includes Robert B. Roemer, PhD from Mechanical Engineering; Douglas Christensen, PhD from Bioengineering; Allison Payne, PhD, Rock Hadley, PhD, Emilee Minalga, PhD, Robb Merrill, PhD and Nick Todd, PhD from UCAIR; Leigh Neumayer, MD from Surgery/Oncology; and many students.

    New breast system has unique features  

    Utah’s system, says Parker, “has a lot of capabilities not found in other breast HIFU systems.” Unique features include the placement of the focused ultrasound transducer. Mounted on flexible bellows made of PlastiDip (an idustrial grade fabrication material), the transducer can be moved into and out of the treatment cylinder as needed. Also unique is that the transducer shoots laterally. The system has a small water box in which the breast is suspended. That box has an array of radio frequency coils around it. According to Parker, this provides “image quality from the MR side [that] is actually very, very good.”

    The system’s other major components are an MR-compatible ultrasound generator made by IGT and a Siemens MRI scanner.

    Now in prototype form, the system has been tested on phantoms and samples. “From the standpoint of something that could ultimately be used to treat breast cancer, I think this is an excellent potential device,” Parker says. “The advantage of HIFU for breast cancer is that it’s totally noninvasive. It has the opportunity eventually to totally eradicate the disease without any surgical intervention at all.”

    A patent application has been filed for the system and further improvements are planned. “There are many problems that still need to be solved,” he notes. “Measuring temperature in fat, which is a major component of breast tissue, has not been solved yet by others. We’ve got a good technique that is starting to work and we’re optimistic that with all these little pieces it’ll be a good system.”

    The team, says Parker, will seek funding to develop modifications that improve image quality and enable the system to treat more aspects of breast disease. “Our new design should be able to treat much more of the disease, including many metastatic lesions,” he notes.

    Written by Ellen C., McKenna

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  • Aging Well Reports, "Essential Tremor Treatment Shows Promise"

    While many cases of ET are mild, according to Neal Kassell, MD, chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation, some patients suffer severely ...  http://www.agingwellmag.com/news/ex_040312.shtml

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  • Germany’s Amper Kliniken Surpasses 500-patient Mark in Treating Uterine Fibroids with Focused Ultlrasound

    In a recent email, Matthias Matzko, MD, head of Interventional and Diagnostic Radiology at Amper Kliniken AG in Dachau, Germany wrote, “We are proud to announce that we passed the 500th treatment in total for uterine fibroid ablation with MRgFUS last week. With the new ExAblate ONE System, we already have the experience of more than 230 treatments with a significant higher rate of success with this new technology in comparison to the old system ExAblate 2000.”

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  • Final Patient Treated in FUS Foundation-funded Essential Tremor Study

    The last of 15 patients was treated in mid-December in the world’s first clinical trial using MR-guided focused ultrasound as a therapy for essential tremor. The single-site pilot study, which has been funded by the FUS Foundation, began in February 2011 at the University of Virginia with neurosurgeon W. Jeffrey Elias, MD serving as principal investigator. 

    All study participants are being followed for three-months, and final clinical trial data is expected to be available in March 2012. Elias will present that data at the 2012 American Association of Neurosurgeons meeting, scheduled for April 14-19. 

    Preliminary study data, which was presented by Elias at the 2011 Congress of Neurological Surgeons meeting in October, was highly promising. The study’s first 10 patients experienced a 78 percent improvement in contralateral tremor scores in their dominant hand, as assessed with the Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST). Patients’ functional activities scores improved by 92 percent, as measured in the ‘Disability’ subsection of the CRST. Elias said that outcomes and complications were comparable to other procedures for tremor, including stereotactic thalamotomy and deep brain stimulation.

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  • Grateful Essential Tremor Study Participant Becomes Donor

    Patient profile: John Watterson

    Recently, FUSF Director of Development Kimberly Skelly was delighted to receive the following unsolicited letter:

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  • Fibroid Relief Unveils New Website, Physician Videos

    Fibroid Relief, the FUS Foundation's patient support initiative, has launched a renovated web site to improve its ability to educate women about MR-guided focused ultrasound as a non-invasive treatment option for uterine fibroids.

    In October of 2008, the Foundation launched Fibroid Relief to fill an information void for patients with uterine fibroids. Through public events and its website, this initiative has become a vital and respected source of information about uterine fibroid treatment options, including MR-guided focused ultrasound.

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  • Study Shows Solid Longterm Outcomes Using MRgFUS to Treat Uterine Fibroids

    A study recently published in the journal Academic Radiology shows positive outcomes up to three years following treatment of uterine fibroids with MR-guided focused ultrasound.

    In the study, 40 women with fibroids were treated with focused ultrasound. Researchers followed up with the women at three and six months, as well as one, two and three years. They found that the largest decrease in fibroid size occurred within the first six months and continued to happen over the three-year period.

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  • CHA Medical Center is First to Treat 500 Fibroid Patients; Yonsei University Plans First OCD Trial

    On June 14, 2011, GE Healthcare Korea and InSightec, Ltd. co-hosted a conference to recognize two important developments in the focused ultrasound community.

    First was the attainment of the 500-patient mark by the focused ultrasound team at CHA Bundang Medical Center in Seoul. Under the leadership of Sang-Wook Yoon, MD, the team has been treating uterine fibroid patients for five years. CHA’s one-year follow up data shows that 95% of patients have experienced improvement and that 18 have either become pregnant or given birth.

    The second development acknowledged at the event is the purchase of ExAblate brain and body systems by Yonsei University Medical Center. Jin Woo Chang, MD will use the new brain system to conduct the world’s first clinical trial in which patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) will receive MR-guided focused ultrasound therapy. Yonsei researchers are also planning clinical trials involving patients with metastatic bone tumors, low-risk and intermediate risk prostate cancers, essential tremor, and brain cancer.

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  • First Essential Tremor Patient Completes Study at University of Virginia

    On June 13, the Richmond Times Dispatch provided an update on the FUS Foundation-funded essential tremor trial at the University of Virginia and its first participant, Billy R. Williams. Written by Lifestyles reporter Tammie Smith, the story was prompted by a reader's inquiry about how Mr. Williams is doing.

    Williams, who has completed the three-month study period, reports he is doing well. His UVA neurosurgeon, W. Jeffrey Elias, MD, says Williams has demonstrated excellent tremor control. Click the link below to read the full story.  

    Early results of essential tremor study promising - http://www2.timesdispatch.com/lifestyles/2011/jun/13/TDMET05-early-results-of-essential-tremor-study-pr-ar-1103913/

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  • FUSF-funded Project May Lead to Safer, More Effective Treatment of Breast Cancer

    Mario Ries, Ph.D., a physicist at the Laboratory for Functional and Molecular Imaging in Bordeaux, France, has been intrigued with the notion of combining noninvasive ablation with MR guidance since 1997. Today, his key ambition is help the roughly one to one and a half million people globally diagnosed with breast cancer every year.

    Ries has received a $100,000 research award from the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation to pursue a project he believes will result in a safer and more effective treatment for breast cancer. His objective is to solve the technical drawbacks that cause existing high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) transducers – devices that convert energy into sound waves and focus the waves on a target – to damage tissue around the breast, including to the thoracic cage, heart and lungs. Click here to read full report.

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  • Last Night’s Fibroid Relief Event in Houston Sparks Strong Interest in MR-guided Focused Ultrasound

    Tracey Daniels of the FUS Foundation’s patient support organization, Fibroid Relief, reports that the April 27 Fibroid Relief event in Houston was a great success. She notes a few highlights:

    • 180 attendees
    • A stellar panel of physicians 
    • Busy exhibit booths from St. Luke's Episcopal, Methodist Hospital, InSightec and Abbott Laboratories (all sponsors) 
    • A lengthy question and answer session with an inquisitive and receptive audience 
    • Many enthusiastic and gracious comments from the attendees to Fibroid Relief staff at the end of the event
    • Definitely a strong interest in focused ultrasound therapy… many women crowded the Methodist Hospital booth at the end of the night seeking information about the clinical trial it is conducting. 

    The event marked the first time that Fibroid Relief worked in partnership with two focused ultrasound centers, each of which is using a different device to noninvasively treat uterine fibroids. The Methodist Hospital is performing treatments with the FDA-approved InSightec ExAblate System; St. Luke's is a clinical trial site for the Philips Sonalleve System.

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  • Video Interview with World's First Essential Tremor Patient Treated with MR-guided Focused Ultrasound

    The April issue of the FUS Foundation's e-newsletter features an excluvie video interview with Billy R. Williams, a patient with essential tremor who experienced dramatically positive results after being treated with MR-guided focused ultrasound. Williams is the first patient treated in a first in the world clinical trial funded by the FUS Foundation. Read more and view video.

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  • Fibroid Relief Plans Major Event in Houston

    The FUS Foundation's patient support organization, Fibroid Relief, has scheduled a free public education event for April 27, 2011 in Houston, Texas. The event is being organized in partnership with the focused ultrasound centers at the Methodist Hospital and at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital.

    "This is the first time that we have organized an event to support two focused ultrasound centers," said Tina Krall, Fibroid Relief executive director. "Each center uses a different device to noninvasively treat uterine fibroids. Methodist is using the FDA-approved InSightec ExAblate System, and St. Luke's is a clinical trial site for the Philips Sonalleve System."

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  • World's First Essential Tremor Patient Treated with MR-guided Focused Ultrasound - Patient Interview with Billy Williams

     

     

    The last ten years have been challenging for Billy R. Williams of Fort Valley, Virginia. The former Pentagon employee, who survived the 9/11 terrorist attack, has suffered from essential tremor, a progressive and debilitating neurological disorder.

    Medications controlled his tremor for a while, but eventually the shaking became so severe that Williams found it impossible to do anything with his dominant right hand. He was unable to button his shirt, eat without spilling or fill in a crossword puzzle. An avid golfer, he even needed help teeing up his ball. Referred to the University of Virginia for evaluation, he learned about various treatment options and ultimately agreed to participate in a new clinical trial. Funded by the FUS Foundation, the study is assessing the safety and initial efficacy of noninvasive MR-guided focused ultrasound as a treatment for essential tremor.

    On February 25, 2011, Williams became the first essential tremor patient in the world to receive MR-guided focused ultrasound therapy, and the results were dramatically positive. 

    - Written by Ellen C., McKenna

    Study Information
    Click here for study information posted on the National Institutes of Health website
    . Patient inquiries can be directed to UVA Neurosurgery Clinical Trials at 434-243-1435 or by emailing 

     

    Click here to read FUS Foundation newsletter coverage of this study >

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  • Interview with Essential Tremor Patient Treated with MR-guided Focused Ultrasound

    A front page story in the March 11, 2011 edition of the Richmond Times Dispatch featured an interview with Billy R. Williams, the first patient in a new clinical trial funded by the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation. The first in the world clinical trial  is asessing the safety and effectiveness of MR-guided focused ultrasound in treating essential tremor, a progressively debilitating condition that causes uncontrollable trembling in the hands and other areas of the body. Also interviewed was W. Jeffrey Elias, M.D., the University of Virginia neurosurgeon who performed the procedure and is the study's principal investigator. 

    In the report, Williams is quoted as saying, "I feel very good." He also explained, "I wanted these tremors taken care of so badly I really had no fear of having it done." Click below to read the full story.

    http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/state-news/2011/mar/11/tdmain01-uva-uses-scalpel-free-brain-surgery-to-tr-ar-898122/

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  • Dr. Elias talks about the first treatment of ET with Focused Ultrasound

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  • Magazine Features Bone Mets and Uterine Fibroid Trials at UVA

    Clinical trials using MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat uterine fibroids and pain from cancer that has metastasized to bones are enrolling patients at the University of Virginia Health System. Details of those studies are reported in the latest issue of the UVA edition of Physician’s Practice Magazine.Click below to view the full report.

    UVA Physicians Practice Magazine Article

     

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  • Fibroid Relief to Kick Off 2011 with Patient Education Event in Charlottesville

    The FUS Foundation's patient-support organization, Fibroid Relief, is kicking off 2011 with a free educational event in Charlottesville, Virginia on February 3. The event will be the first held in conjunction with the Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence at the University of Virginia.

    According to Tina Krall, executive director of Fibroid Relief, confirmed speakers include Alan Matsumoto, M.D. (Focused Ultrasound and Uterine Fibroid Embolization); Elisa Trowbridge, M.D. (Robotic Myomectomy); Bruce Bateman, M.D. (Gynecology and Fertility); Annette Owens, M.D. (Sexual Health); Cindy Janechild, R.N. (Holistic Medicine) and three uterine fibroid patients, one of whom was successfully treated with MR-guided focused ultrasound at UVA.

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  • Pancreatic Patient Success Story: Doris McArdle, Chicago, IL, USA

    Advancing a game-changing technology like MR-guided focused ultrasound from research bench to clinical reality requires the contribution of many stakeholders. One such group – first-to-be-treated patients – often goes unsung.

    The January issue of the FUS Foundation newsletter provides an engaging profile of Doris McArdle, an indomitable 89-year-old who and recipient of the first MR-guided focused ultrasound treatment for a benign pancreatic tumor. Performed on a compassionate care basis at St. Mary’s Hospital in London, England, the treatment ablated about a fourth of Mrs. McArdle’s sizable tumor and has relieved about 75 percent of her persistent pain.

    Click hereto read the complete details of Mrs. McArdles's treatment and recovery.

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  • Patient with Benign Pancreatic Tumor Experiences Pain Relief After MR-guided Focused Ultrasound Treatment

    "What a difference a year makes!" exclaimed Doris McArdle and her daughter, Sharon Duffy, in a recent New Year’s greeting.

    The recipients of that message – David Heller, Neal Kassell, M.D. and Wladyslaw Gedroyc, M.D. – made a difference that McArdle will never forget. In November 2010, the indomitable, 89-year-old McArdle boarded a trans-Atlantic flight from Chicago to London. There, she successfully underwent a noninvasive MR-guided focused ultrasound procedure to relieve acute pain and discomfort caused by a large benign tumor in her pancreas.

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  • Fibroid Relief Plans July 31 Coffee and Conversation Event in London

    The Foundation’s patient support organization, Fibroid Relief, will conduct its second Coffee and Conversation event in London on Saturday, July 31.

    Presented in partnership with St. Mary’s Hospital, the event will offer an intimate, safe and supportive environment where past and present uterine fibroid sufferers can talk freely about their experiences, share knowledge and learn from each other.

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  • Fibroid Relief Patient Advocate Appears on Hit TV Show, “The Doctors”

    Erin, a blogger and patient advocate for the Foundation’s Patient Support Organization,Fibroid Relief, will be a guest on the hit daytime TV talk show, “The Doctors.”

    Erin will appear on April 9, in a segment about uterine fibroids. She will share her story about living with the condition and being successfully treated with MR-guided FUS. The segment will be archived online on www.thedoctorstv.com.

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  • Mayo Study Finds Women are Satisfied with MR-guided Focused Ultrasound Treatment for Uterine Fibroids

    A year after their procedures at the Mayo Clinic, 97 percent of the women who had MR-guided FUS treatments for uterine fibroids said their symptoms had improved. Ninety percent considered their improvement either “considerable” or “excellent.”

    So reported Gina Hesley, M.D., an interventional radiologist at Mayo, who is studying the long-term effectiveness of MR-guided FUS treatments for uterine fibroids. She presented her findings at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 35th Annual Scientific Meeting in Tampa.

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  • 10th Neurosurgery Patient Treated at Zurich Hospital with Focused Ultrasound

    The University Children’s Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland recently celebrated treating its tenth neurosurgery patient with focused ultrasound. The patient had suffered for almost ten years from neuropathic pain – pain that originated when a benign brain tumor damaged nerve fibers in his brain which led to extreme pain and cramping in his right arm.

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  • Fibroid Relief Outreach Event

    Patient support sometimes means putting the information out there in peoples’ hometowns so that they can come out and learn more…and that’s a big part of our outreach at Fibroid Relief in the coming months.  
     
    We’re really excited to be hosting our first Fibroid Relief At Last Patient Support Outreach event in Chicago, Illinois on June 9th from 6-8 PM at Northwestern's Prentiss Women's Hospital (www.fibroidrelief.org).

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  • Prostate Treatment Achieves Reimbursement Milestone

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have established a new billing code for focused ultrasound ablation of prostate tissue that will go into effect on July 1, 2017. The announcement was made by both EDAP-TMS and SonaCare Medical, the two companies whose devices are approved in the US.

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