Research 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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  • Foundation-Funded Research Update: Focused Ultrasound Ablation for Cardiac Arrhythmias

    For patients with cardiac arrhythmias, focused ultrasound energy via thermal ablation may have the potential to block the abnormal electrical impulses, thus restoring normal cardiac rhythms and providing alternative management for chronic atrial fibrillation and similar conditions. A foundation-funded research study on this topic has recently been completed at LabTAU – a Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence and a part of INSERM (the French equivalent of the National Institutes of Health). Cyril Lafon, PhD, (the 2016-2017 Merkin Fellow) and his team designed and tested transesophageal probes to apply minimally invasive thermal ablation to cardiac tissue.

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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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  • Results of Focused Ultrasound Treatment of Osteoid Osteoma Published

    Karun Sharma, MD, PhD, Director of Interventional Radiology, and colleagues at Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System in Washington, DC, have completed their clinical trial to treat benign but painful bone tumors (osteoid osteoma) in children. They have published the results, which demonstrated safety and efficacy for focused ultrasound, and then compared the results to a historical control group of children treated with radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in The Journal of Pediatrics. Children’s National was the first children’s hospital in the US to conduct a clinical trial using focused ultrasound to treat pediatric osteoid osteoma with the Philips V2 Sonalleve system.

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  • Turkish Neurosurgeon/Businessman Selected as Foundation-Funded Fellow

    Murat Karabiyikoglu, MD, MBA – a former life-science investment professional with the credentials of a former clinically active neurosurgeon – has joined the Foundation as a research fellow on a J-1 Research Visa, where he will participate as a member of the Foundation’s Brain Technical Research Team as well as conduct independent research projects to help make the case for commercial adoption of the technology.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Clinical Trial Begins for Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    Researchers at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto have begun a new clinical trial to evaluate the feasibility and safety of focused ultrasound to alleviate symptoms in patients with refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). To date, three of six patients have been treated.

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  • Trial for Comparative Treatment of Osteoid Osteomas Announced at UC San Francisco and Stanford

    The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Stanford University are currently enrolling participants in a comparative trial of osteoid osteoma in pediatric patients. This study will compare CT-guided radiofrequency ablation (CTgRFA) with high-intensity focused ultrasound, comparing pain reduction between the two treatments along with procedural experience and quality of life during recovery.

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  • 2017 Summer Interns Contribute to FUS Field

    middleditch interns 250The talented group of interns participating in the sixth year of the Foundation’s summer internship program included four college students who worked on projects ranging from focused ultrasound patient registries to the use of 3D-printed lenses for transcranial FUS. They were recently able to showcase their projects during a lunch time presentation to Leigh Middleditch (pictured right, with three of the four interns), who is on the Board of the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the generous funder of this summer program.

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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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  • Meeting Update: WSSFN

    The 17th quadrennial meeting of the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (WSSFN) was held June 26-29 in Berlin. Data from two key Foundation-funded studies were presented at the meeting, including the blood-brain barrier opening for Alzheimer’s disease, and the Parkinson’s dyskinesia study co-funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. “The international neurosurgical community is paying attention to focused ultrasound,” said Focused Ultrasound Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD.

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  • Notable Student Research Awards

    The Foundation strives to cultivate the next generation of scientists working in the field of focused ultrasound. We are proud to announce that three such young researchers, Guillaume Maimbourg, Sarah Brüningk, and Amirah Aly, have earned awards for their work. Meanwhile, a former Foundation intern, Changzhu Jin, has earned his PhD.

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  • 2017 Second Quarter Research Awards

    Two proposals have been selected to receive Foundation funding in the 2nd quarter of 2017.

      JKeenanArtenga
    James Keenan

    James Keenan, CEO of Artenga, Inc., a Canadian life sciences company, will partner with Sunnybrook Research Institute and the University of Helsinki to investigate “MRgFUS Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery with AAV2 Gene Therapy Microbubble Drug Conjugates.” The team proposes to develop a novel microbubble-drug conjugate with an adeno-associated virus and then use focused ultrasound to deliver the gene therapy to the regions of the brain affected by Parkinson's disease.

     

     

     

    Wolfram Frank vertical
    Frank Wolfram, PhD

    In Germany, Frank Wolfram, PhD, and his team at SRH Waldklinikum Gera have been funded to determine “Accessibility and Benefit of Focused Ultrasound Treatment for Inoperable Lung Cancer Patients, A Retrospective Analysis.” Now that their preliminary data have shown the feasibility for focused ultrasound to treat lung cancer on large animal models via intentional One Lung Flooding (OLF). This study will analyze the charts of inoperable patients (70% of all lung cancer patients) to map tumor location and volume, classify and analyze the pulmonary function to estimate their accessibility to OLF, and therefore determine the future clinical potential of FUS for treatment of primary lung cancer.

     

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  • 2017 Meeting Report: The American Urological Association’s (AUA) Annual Meeting

    At the 2017 American Urological Association meeting held in Boston, focused ultrasound technology was included in 15 abstracts, and EDAP released its new Ablatherm “Fusion” technology, which allows urologists to import pre-treatment diagnostic information (MRI images and 3D biopsy maps) and merge it with the live ultrasound image during the procedure.

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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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  • 2017 Meeting Report: The International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine’s (ISMRM) 25th Annual Meeting and Exhibition

    On April 24, John Snell, PhD, Technical Director of the FUSF Brain Program, and Pejman Ghanouni, MD, PhD, from Stanford University, led a continuing education course on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound in the Brain. Designed for physicists and engineers, the session aimed to introduce new or emerging MR methods and applications and discuss their clinical potential.

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  • May 2017 Research Roundup

    The combination of focused ultrasound plus microbubbles or nanobubbles is allowing scientists to reach previously inaccessible parts of the brain and spinal cord. Can gene therapy stop or slow brain tumor development? If nerve growth factor reaches the spinal cord, could it repair damaged neurons? Finally, brain mapping with low-intensity focused ultrasound is the subject of a new study from the University of Virginia.

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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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  • April 2017 Research Roundup

    Two of the articles featured this month further explore using focused ultrasound and microbubbles to open the blood-brain barrier. One investigates how this mechanism affects the microvasculature of the brain, and the other shows its promise in delivering chemotherapy to invasive brain tumors. Finally, a group in Hong Kong proposes a new protocol for large, treatment-resistant thyroid nodules after analyzing results from previous patients.

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  • Investigator Profile: Kathy Ferrara, PhD

    Katherine W. Ferrara, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UC Davis and the Director of their Center for Content Rich Evaluation of Therapeutic Efficacy. She also serves on the Foundation’s Research Advisory Committee and has contributed as faculty during our biennial Symposium.

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  • Immunotherapy Plus Focused Ultrasound Shrinks Tumors

    A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight(JCI Insight) suggests that combining focused ultrasound ablation with immunotherapy in the right order can produce a systemic attack on epithelial cancer in a mouse model. However, for the combination to be effective, the immunotherapy must come first using a technique called priming.

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  • Foundation Funded Research Update – Repairing the Parkinson’s Brain

    Parkinson’s disease damages dopamine neurons in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra (SN). Scientists hypothesize that these damaged cells can be repaired, and previous studies found that DNA segments that were introduced through the intranasal route of administration could produce a dopamine cell survival factor called glial cell derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) that protected these cells in the SN. Researchers at Northeastern University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Copernicus Therapeutics conducted a study to use focused ultrasound and microbubbles to improve on this concept. 

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  • March 2017 Research Roundup

    Clinical results for focused ultrasound treatment of Parkinson’s tremor are now being presented and published. A case series recently conducted at Rambam Medical Center in Israel is among the first to report results. Focused ultrasound research is also showing promise for priming tumor tissue for enhanced uptake of nanoparticles in Korea and for imagining new treatments for spinal cord injury in China.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Represented at SIR 2017

    The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) held its 2017 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, March 4-9. Three focused ultrasound abstracts were selected for SIR 2017: two oral presentations and one poster. Topics covered include vascular malformations, pediatric osteoid osteoma, and introducing junior radiologists to the field of focused ultrasound. An NIH poster on prostate imaging prior to treatment also mentioned focused ultrasound.

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  • Pivotal Trial Begins for Breast Fibroadenoma

    Patients with benign breast tumors may be eligible for a new focused ultrasound–based investigational treatment as part of a pivotal, multi-center clinical study. The trial began last month at the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center.

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  • February 2017 Research Roundup

    Focused ultrasound brain research is at the center of this month’s roundup. A new paper from Kullervo Hynynen’s group looks at blood-brain barrier restoration time; a new ultrasound technique for optogenetics is being developed at Columbia University; and our study with the University of Virginia compares focused ultrasound to the gamma knife for essential tremor thalamotomy.

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  • Foundation Funded Research Update – Brain Re-myelination in Multiple Sclerosis using Pulsed Focused Ultrasound

    With the goal of slowing or reversing the negative neurological effects of multiple sclerosis, researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle recently completed a pre-clinical in vivo study using pulsed focused ultrasound to increase myelination of affected neurons in the brain.

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  • New Center of Excellence Focuses on Collaborations and Education

    The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is pleased to designate a new Center of Excellenceat the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in Lyon, France. INSERM Unit 1032, the Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound (LabTAU), is located within a large medical and research community and conducts significant translational and clinical research with a multi-disciplinary, highly qualified, and complementary team of physicians and scientists.

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  • Foundation Embraces Open Science in 2017

    The concept of Open Science – or immediate access to papers, research data, and procedures – is changing how knowledge is shared.

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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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  • January 2017 Research Roundup

    This month, exciting research was published involving focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier to deliver drugs to metastatic brain tumors, treat a rare type of spinal bone cancer, and reduce eye pressure in glaucoma patients.


    In a pre-clinical study, a Taiwanese group used focused ultrasound to increase the amount of a chemotherapy drug delivered across the blood-brain barrier to brain metastases. See Pulsed-wave low-dose ultrasound hyperthermia selectively enhances nanodrug delivery and improves antitumor efficacy for brain metastasis of breast cancer in Ultrasonics Sonochemistry.

    Collaborators in Oxford, UK, present the outcomes from four cases and announce the start of a clinical trial in using focused ultrasound to treat sacral chordoma, a rare type of spinal bone cancer. See High-intensity focused ultrasonic ablation of sacral chordoma is feasible: a series of four cases and details of a national clinical trial in the British Journal of Neurosurgery.

    Two glaucoma centers in Italy successfully treated 30 patients with focused ultrasound to reduce intraocular pressure using Eye Tech Care’s EyeOP1 device. See High-intensity focused ultrasound treatment in patients with refractory glaucoma in Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology.

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  • Foundation Funded Research Update – Uterine Fibroid Ablation with Vascular Targeting

    In an effort to decrease treatment times for focused ultrasound ablation of uterine fibroids, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) designed a clinical trial to use the technology to target and destroy the fibroid’s blood supply rather than the fibroid tissue itself. “Accelerated Focused Ultrasound Ablation of Uterine Fibroids with MR guided Vascular Targeting—a Pilot Study” was led by Vascular and Interventional Radiologist Maureen Kohi, MD and radiological research fellow Sandeep Arora, MBBS.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Symposium Abstracts Featured In JTU

    JTU2Abstracts from the Foundation’s 2016 Symposium have now been published in a special supplement to the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound. The presentations covered neurological, liver/pancreas, breast, immunotherapy, cardiovascular, and emerging applications, representing the great progress made in the past decade and the promising future for the field.

    Read the abstracts >

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  • Northern Light: Thunder Bay a Shining Research Site

    The Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute (TBRHRI) is a new center located in a remote area of Canada that is already contributing to the field of focused ultrasound in the region and around the world. The Regional Health Sciences Centre created the research institute as a joint venture to help advance its academic research mandate and strengthen its role as a leader in healthcare innovation and delivery.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Presence Grows at RSNA 2016

    Interest in research related to focused ultrasound continues to grow at the Radiological Society of North America annual meeting, with special sessions dedicated to the technology as well as 21 FUS-based abstracts, up from 18 last year.

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  • INSERM Director Visits Foundation, Provides Research Update

    Jean-Yves Chapelon, PhD, is Research Director at INSERM’s LabTAU in Lyon, France and leads a collaborative project between INSERM (the French equivalent of the NIH) and the French FUS company EDAP TMS. He visited the Foundation to update us on the history and current status of Ablatherm technology for treatment of prostate cancer.

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  • Verasonics Develops Flexible, High Tech Ultrasound for Research

    Seattle Area-based Verasonics designs and develops a programmable research ultrasound platform that optimally combines energy application and image monitoring all in one for focused ultrasound (FUS) research, development, and commercialization. In addition to therapy, Verasonics’ research ultrasound systems are used for investigation in novel imaging techniques, physics, materials testing, education, and other applications.

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  • World’s First Focal Hand Dystonia Patient Treated with Focused Ultrasound

    Researchers in Japan have treated a patient with hand dystonia with focused ultrasound (FUS) for the first time, enabling a classical guitarist to play music again.

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  • Sunnybrook Centre of Excellence Accelerating Progress Through Collaboration

    The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is honored to recognize Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto as a Centre of Excellence.

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  • GBM Consortium Tests Focused Ultrasound Immunomodulation Parameters

    The Foundation’s multi-site consortium to streamline efforts and accelerate progress in using FUS to increase the body’s anti-tumor immune response has launched its first major project. Researchers at seven institutions will investigate the effects of different FUS modalities on the immune system, each using the same animal model of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive and difficult to treat brain tumor.

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  • FUS Immunotherapy Summit Builds on Momentum

    More than 40 experts from around the world gathered for the Focused Ultrasound and Immunotherapy Summit, held in partnership with the Cancer Research Institute on October 14. The group met to critically evaluate the current body of evidence, assess the value of ongoing work, and create a roadmap of projects to address any remaining gaps or questions.

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  • Scientific Presentations at a Glance: Wide Ranging Progress

    The Symposium’s scientific presentations demonstrated that significant progress is being made in advancing FUS as a solution in many fields of medicine, utilizing a variety of biomechanisms. Here are some of the highlights:

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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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  • Summer Interns Contribute to the Field

    This year, two returning students were met by a couple of new faces to round out our talented group of summer interns.

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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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  • 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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  • New England Journal of Medicine Publishes Tremor Results

    The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine published the pivotal study that led to the approval of Insightec’s Exablate Neuro focused ultrasound system to treat essential tremor (ET).

     
     

    Sharon Samuels shares her struggle with essential tremor and
    gets her quality of life back after focused ultrasound treatment.

    The ET patients treated in this study achieved significantly reduced unilateral hand tremor that proved durable at 12 months. The procedure also reduced disability and improved quality of life one year after treatment. The study was conducted at eight centers and led by University of Virginia neurosurgeon Jeff Elias, MD.

    “This study represents a major advance for neurosurgery, treatment of brain disease and specifically the treatment of essential tremor,” Dr. Elias said. “For the first time in a randomized controlled trial, we have shown that ultrasound can be precisely delivered through the intact human skull to treat a difficult neurological disease.”

    “This publication further affirms to the medical community that focused ultrasound is a safe and effective alternative to treat the brain without incisions or radiation,” says Foundation Chairman Neal Kassell, MD. “Now that Insightec’s system is approved by the FDA, the important next step is to secure the appropriate levels of reimbursement so that leading medical centers will invest in this technology and make it widely available to patients seeking non-invasive options for their tremors.”

    Given the challenges of accessing the brain and the high cost, complications, and limitations of some current approaches, we believe that focused ultrasound has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of many brain disorders and ultimately to open up opportunities to rapidly advance applications throughout the body.

    The idea of using focused ultrasound to treat tremors was conceptualized at the Foundation's first brain workshop in March 2009. The Foundation then helped organize and fund a pilot study with Insightec and the University of Virginia that served as the predicate for this larger pivotal study.

    NEJM ET video320 captionThe pivotal study was funded by a partnership between the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, Insightec and the BIRD (Israel-US Binational Industrial R&D) Foundation.

    Read the University of Virginia's press release >

    The pivotal trial took place at the following sites:

    • Brigham & Women's Hospital
    • Stanford University Medical Center
    • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
    • Swedish Medical Center
    • University of Maryland Medical System
    • University of Virginia 
    • Tokyo Women's Medical University
    • Yonsei University Medical Center

     

    Media Coverage

     

     

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  • Leading French Researcher Joins Foundation as Merkin Fellow

    Starting this month, Cyril Lafon, PhD, joins the Foundation as the 2016-2017 Richard Merkin Visiting Fellow.

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  • Investigator Profile: Q&A with Cyril Lafon, PhD

    Cyril Lafon, PhD, joins the Foundation as the 2016-2017 Richard Merkin Visiting Fellow. Dr. Lafon is the Director of LabTAU, a research laboratory of INSERM – the French National Institutes of Health – located in Lyon. He was selected based on his innovative ideas and proven track record in developing focused ultrasound devices for patient use. We sat down with Cyril to discuss how he became interested in focused ultrasound and his work.

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  • May 2016 Research Roundup

    How do changes in focused ultrasound frequency affect anatomic specificity and efficacy in neurostimulation? Researchers in the US and China both studied this question in mice. A group in France has performed an in vivo, beating heart feasibility study for using focused ultrasound to perform cardiac ablation. Chinese researchers found improved short-term survival in patients treated with focused ultrasound plus chemotherapy when compared with chemotherapy alone for patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.

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  • HIFU Prostate Treatment Debated by Urologists

    Patient selection for high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) prostate treatment was featured as one of the opening plenary sessions for the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association, held earlier this month in San Diego.

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  • Q & A with Vanderbilt University’s Will Grissom and Charles Caskey

    Charles Caskey, PhD, and Will Grissom, PhD, at Vanderbilt University’s Institute of Imaging Science address questions about their site and its important focused ultrasound work. In May 2016, the team at Vanderbilt debuted DIY hardware blueprints and open-source software so that other researchers can build their own systems to conduct pre-clinical MR-guided FUS studies.

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  • OCD/Depression Steering Committee Begins Clinical Study Protocol Design

    Nir Lipsman, MD, PhD will lead a North American group of neurosurgical, psychiatric, and technology experts to advance the use of focused ultrasound for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression--two neuropsychiatric disorders that can be challenging to successfully treat with medication.

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  • Neuromodulation Research Prize Encourages Progress

    The Focused Ultrasound Foundation will award a clinical neuromodulation research prize to the first investigator or team of investigators to elicit transient sensory symptoms or tremor suppression using non-thermal FUS neuromodulation during a patient treatment.

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  • UK Invests in Creation of FUS Research Network

    A consortium of researchers, led by Gail ter Haar, PhD, has earned a prestigious multi-year government grant to build a research network to advance focused ultrasound across the UK. The initiative has been aptly named ThUNDDAR (Therapeutic Ultrasound for Drug Delivery and Ablation Research), and will be supported by a grant of £675,000 over four years.

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  • March 2016 Research Roundup

    Oncology is the theme for this month’s research review. Recently published focused ultrasound papers include clinical evaluation of HIFU for treating pancreatic cancer, results from a Phase I breast cancer trial, and a 5-year review of outcomes after whole-gland prostate treatment.

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  • Brain Technical Program Collaborates to Expand the Treatment Envelope

    Scientists from the Foundation’s Brain Technical Program have joined with the University of Utah on a project to expand the range of neurological disorders that can be treated with focused ultrasound.

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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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  • February 2016 Research Roundup

    This month’s roundup includes studies in brain disorders, immunology, and women’s health. Is it feasible to use focused ultrasound to treat temporal lobe epilepsy? Can scientists deliver GDNF plasmids across the BBB to potentially treat Parkinson’s disease? How does focused ultrasound compare to DBS in treating ET?

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  • Research Update: Histotripsy Standards and Lysis of Deep Vein Thrombi

    With the eventual goal to use focused ultrasound to dissolve chronic deep vein blood thrombi, Kenneth B. Bader, PhD, and his colleagues at the University of Cincinnati recently completed a study to develop standards to regulate microbubble cloud formation during histotripsy pulses.

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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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  • January 2016 Research Roundup

    Gene Therapy and Immunology

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  • Research Update: Real-time 3D MR Thermometry

    A recently completed Foundation-funded research project has resulted in the filing of a new US Patent Application.

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  • FUS Plus Chemotherapy Cures Cancer in Mice

    In a new paper in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, Katherine W. Ferrara, PhD, and her team at UC Davis report their strategy to destroy an entire tumor without thermal destruction of the tumor margin. Her group used focused ultrasound to dramatically increase the concentration of doxorubicin within several types of tumors using mouse models of mammary carcinoma.

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  • Foundation-supported BBB Research

    The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is committed to advancing the use of FUS to open the BBB and treat a range of neurological conditions. In addition to supporting research through our funding awards, we have organized several workshops exploring this topic, including a September 2013 BBB Workshop, a February 2015 Immunotherapy Workshop, and a September 2015 Alzheimer’s Workshop.

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  • October 2015 Research Roundup

    Recently published papers looked at skull-related issues in transcranial focused ultrasound, brain treatment envelope expansion using low-intensity, non-thermal, cavitation-enhanced ablation, and a fascinating history of the development of focused ultrasound in the 1950s.

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  • Investigator Profile: Q&A with Jürgen Götz, PhD

    Understanding the way that Alzheimer's disease cripples the brain and then designing an affordable treatment is what drives the work of Jürgen Götz, PhD.

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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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  • London Hospital Initiating Brain Trials, Pioneering Drug Delivery

    Wladyslaw Gedroyc Leading Innovation

    St. Mary’s Hospital in London will soon have the first focused ultrasound brain system in the UK. Leading radiologist Wladyslaw (Wady) Gedroyc recently secured funding from the Imperial College Hospital Charity for the Insightec ExAblate Neuro system.

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  • Korean Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound Holds Inaugural Conference

    The inaugural scientific conference of the Korean Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound (KSTU) was held at Yonsei Severance Hospital on September 19. One of the Foundation’s 2015 interns, Chanzhu Jin, joined the group of 80 neurosurgeons, neurologists, scientists, and engineers to enjoy 9 lectures, 10 abstract presentations, and a special lecture by University of Washington pancreatic cancer expert Joo Ha Hwang, MD, PhD.

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  • Clinical Treatments Featured at 2015 European Symposium

    More than 180 international focused ultrasound experts gathered in London at the Royal Geographic Society for the 3rd European Symposium on Focused Ultrasound Therapy, held October 15-16.

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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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  • September 2015 Research Roundup

    Advances in focused ultrasound brain treatment are ongoing. Efforts to expand the treatment envelope in the brain are addressed in this month’s research roundup.

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  • 3rd Quarter 2015 Research Awards

    Two projects have been selected for funding for the 3rd quarter of 2015. The first is Dr. James Drake’s work at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. His group will establish an international database for pediatric focused ultrasound treatment. In urology, Dr. George Schade at the University of Washington will be assessing the use of histotripsy for treating renal tumors.

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  • Investigator Profile: Q&A with Seung-Schik Yoo, PhD, MBA

    Seung-Schik Yoo, PhD, MBA, is making breakthroughs in using focused ultrasound to induce functional neuromodulation of the brain and peripheral nervous system. With his global collaborative partners, he is experimenting with various FUS parameters to move the field closer to achieving this important milestone in humans.

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  • Investigator Profile: Q&A with Nathan McDannold, PhD

    Nathan McDannold, PhD, has put tremendous effort into the brain applications of focused ultrasound and worked with Kullervo Hynynen to become one of the first to open the blood-brain barrier. His work in drug delivery and neurodegenerative diseases is sure to change the way that medicine is practiced. A medical physicist, he has been a participant in the care of every focused ultrasound patient treated at BWH since 1996.

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  • Investigator Profile: Q&A with Clare Tempany, MD

    Radiologist Clare Tempany, MD, has been a Vice Chair for Research since 2007. She manages the National Center for Image Guided Therapy, a Focused Ultrasound Foundation Center of Excellence. The National Center is divided into several different research areas, including the Surgical Planning Laboratory directed by Seung-Schik Yoo, PhD, and the Focused Ultrasound Laboratory directed by Nathan McDannold, PhD. All combined, the teams total 40 to 50 total staff, including faculty, students, post-docs, and visiting students and faculty.

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  • Alzheimer’s Workshop to Develop Research Roadmap

    The Foundation hosted a workshop in Bethesda September 17-18 to discuss the state of the field, current challenges, and future research directions for using focused ultrasound to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

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  • Investigator Profile — Zhen Xu, PhD

    This pioneer seeks to ultimately see the translation of this discovery to the medical clinic, providing life-changing non-invasive treatment for diseases such as blood clots, liver tumors, brain cancer, and congenital heart disease. We interviewed her in July 2015 for a closer look at her research:

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  • Foundation Research Award Update: Ultrasonic Thrombolysis Using Histotripsy

    Dr. Zhen Xu, PhD, and her group at the University of Michigan recently completed a Foundation-funded study that evaluated the use of histotripsy for thrombolysis—dissolving unwanted blood clots.

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  • July 2015 Research Roundup

    Recently published focused ultrasound (FUS) research includes a comprehensive review of its use in treating the brain, including central neuropathic pain, essential tremor, Parkinsonian tremor, brain tumors, and temporary disruption of the blood-brain barrier for targeted drug delivery. Physicians and scientists in Europe also published collaborative reviews on using FUS for breast cancer treatment and uterine fibroids. Additionally, ultrasound contrast agents may enhance the FUS treatment of uterine fibroids.

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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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  • Swiss Government To Create Focused Ultrasound Brain Treatment Registry

    Researchers Continue to Innovate

    Researchers at the Center for MR Imaging--guided Focused Ultrasound at the University of Zurich Children’s Hospital are pioneering the development of focused ultrasound for the brain in Europe.

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  • June 2015 Research Roundup

    Could a uterine fibroid numerical rating scale assist physicians with focused ultrasound patient selection? Is CT always needed when using focused ultrasound to treat the brain? Read these papers, along with two that review focused ultrasound treatment for glaucoma.

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  • Investigator Profile: Q&A with Elisa Konofagou, PhD

    Dr. Elisa Konofagou is Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology at Columbia University and head of the Ultrasound Elasticity Imaging Laboratory (UEIL)there. Breaking through barriers, she is exploring alternative imaging techniques for focused ultrasound procedures, investigating neurological and cancer applications in preclinical studies, and working with her team to build medical devices in-house to meet their research needs.

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  • Foundation Scientists Build Collaboration in Korea

    Foundation scientists recently returned from a productive trip to Korea, where they made presentations and expanded our collaborative network. John Snell, PhD, Brain Program Technical Director and current and past Foundation fellows Dong-guk Paeng, PhD, and Jean-Francois Aubry, PhD spent a week speaking at two universities and two conferences. Dr. Paeng shared his country, national cuisine, and culture with the others.

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  • Investigator Profile: Q&A with Justin Hanes, PhD

    Justin Hanes, PhD, is the Lewis J. Ort Professor of Ophthalmology, with joint appointments in Biomedical Engineering, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Environmental Health Sciences, Neurosurgery, Oncology, and Pharmacology & Molecular Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is also the Director of the Center for Nanomedicine, The Wilmer Eye Institute at JHU.

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  • Investigator Profile: Q&A with Rich Price, PhD

    Richard Price, PhD, is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Radiation & Radiation Oncology and Research Director of the UVA Focused Ultrasound Center. 

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  • UVA and Hopkins Collaborate to Use FUS to Deliver Nanoparticles into the Brain

    Biomedical engineers at the University of Virginia (UVA) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) have developed a prolific collaboration that has generated several long-term, multi-million-dollar focused ultrasound research grants.

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  • Painful Bone Tumor Trial Begins at Children's National

    Children’s National Health System has become the first site in the US to use focused ultrasound to treat osteoid osteoma, a benign but painful bone tumor that commonly occurs in children and young adults.

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  • IGNITE Pursues Non-Invasive Pediatric Solutions

    On May 8th, the Image-Guided Non-Invasive Therapeutic Energy (IGNITE) Consortium met in Cincinnati to discuss using non-invasive therapies like focused ultrasound for treating pediatric diseases.

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  • Investigator Profile — Chandan Guha, MBBS, PhD

    At February’s Cancer Immunotherapy workshop, Chandan Guha, MBBS, PhD, presented his preclinical work using focused ultrasound (FUS) to create a “tumor vaccine.”

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  • Research Published on FUS Delivering Genes to the Spinal Cord

    Nature’s Gene Therapy journal has published pioneering work on the use of focused ultrasound to deliver genetic material across the blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB).

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  • April 2015 Foundation Research Award Update

    The presence of imbedded gold nanoparticles (GNPs) can amplify tumor tissue’s sensitivity to radiation therapy and potentially alter the course of treatment for many different types of cancer. Can focused ultrasound induce hyperthermia to improve the imbedding process? In the final report from a 2013 High-Risk Track Foundation Research Award submitted by MD Anderson Cancer Center Principle Investigators Sunil Krishnan, MD, and Jason Stafford, PhD, the answer is “Yes.”

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  • Progress in Drug Delivery Models Presented at STM 2015

    The thermosensitive drug delivery session included four abstracts on the use of focused ultrasound to treat various forms of cancer and to study the potential applications in the pediatric population during the Society for Thermal Medicine’s (STM) 32nd Annual Meeting held April 14-17 in Orlando.

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  • ISTU 2015: Clinical Highlights, Aubry Named President

    Approximately 250 attendees gathered at the historic Dom church in Utrecht, The Netherlands for the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound's (ISTU) recent symposium. Presentations included updates from several ongoing clinical and technical studies. Jean-Francois Aubry, PhD, who spent more than a year as a Fellow at the Foundation, was chosen as the next President of ISTU.

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  • Letter to Editor on FUS for Alzheimer’s Published

    In response to last month’s groundbreaking preclinical research on focused ultrasound improving memory in Alzheimer’s published in Science Translational Medicine, Jessica Foley, PhD, the Foundation’s Chief Scientific Officer, and Steven T. DeKosky, MD, Chair of the Foundation’s Alzheimer’s Disease Steering Committee, co-published a Letter to the Editor.

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  • March 2015 Research Roundup

    Leading the list of exciting new publications, Scientific Reports published Drs. Yongan Chung and Seung-Schik Yoo’s successful use of focused ultrasound--induced neuromodulation in a human subject. Additional highlighted work includes a technical study on the development of a new approach to possibly treat pancreatic cancer, a collaborative and comprehensive review of histotripsy indications, and a review from China of 5,000 patients in eight different indications who were treated with ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound.

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  • Foundation Research Award Update: Chris Diederich

    “MR Directed Focal Hyperthermia for Pelvic Disease” by Chris J. Diederich, PhD, et al. from the University of California San Francisco.

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  • 1st Quarter 2015 Foundation Research Award

    One project was selected for a Foundation research award in the first quarter of 2015. Principal Investigator Cyril Lafon, PhD, Director of Research at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and his team will study “Trans-Esophageal Cardiac Ablation Using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound: A New Minimally Invasive Therapy for Treating Arrhythmias.”

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