Continue reading >
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.
Richard Price, PhD, is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Radiation & Radiation Oncology and Research Director of the UVA Focused Ultrasound Center.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
New results published this week in Science Translational Medicine suggest that focused ultrasound might hold a key to providing a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical therapy to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
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.
On January 24, we lost one of the giants of therapeutic ultrasound when Professor Floyd Dunn passed away at age 90.
Last August, we profiled external award recipient Paul Dayton, PhD and the nanodroplet research being conducted by his team at the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, Raleigh.
The Foundation has funded five new External Research Award projects for the 4th quarter of 2014. Three preclinical and two clinical studies will evaluate the use of focused ultrasound for:
David Shonka, MD, University of Virginia clinical project: “A Pilot Study to Evaluate the Feasibility and Safety of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound for Treatment of Papillary Thyroid Cancer.”The incidence of differentiated thyroid cancers, comprised primarily of PTC, has more than doubled over the last twenty years, due in part to increased detection of small (≤2cm) tumors. Total thyroidectomy remains the recommended treatment for these malignancies, but poses significant risks and lifelong hormone replacement for patients. A non-surgical alternative is needed for this rapidly growing patient population. The purpose of this two-stage study is to evaluate the feasibility and safety of HIFU for treating PTC.Methodology: In Stage 1, HIFU ablation will be performed on biopsy-proven PTC thyroid nodules 9 weeks prior to thyroidectomy. Feasibility of HIFU is measured as completion of proposed therapy. Safety is evaluated by incidence of treatment-related adverse events. Efficacy is judged by serial diagnostic ultrasound (DUS) imaging performed every 3 weeks following HIFU and confirmed by histological exam of the target nodule following surgery. In Stage 2, subjects with small PTCs (≤2 cm) will be treated with HIFU ablation alone. Subjects will be followed for 12 months to assess residual disease and/or disease recurrence/progression. If a residual nodule of viable PTC persists after FUS treatment, or if patients exhibit evidence of progression, patients will have the option to undergo total thyroidectomy as a salvage procedure.Barbara Waszczak, PhD, Northeastern University in collaboration with Nathan McDannold at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, preclinical project: “Focused Ultrasound for Increased Delivery of Intranasal DNA Nanoparticles to Rat Brain.”We will investigate whether focused ultrasound (FUS) can increase delivery to the brain of a nonviral gene vector given by the intranasal route of administration. Aim 1 will examine different FUS treatment conditions to determine if FUS can increase total plasmid DNA nanoparticle (NP) delivery and transgene expression in the sonicated regions, the rat substantia nigra and striatum, two brain areas involved in Parkinson's Disease (PD). Aim 2 will test whether FUS improves tissue penetration and alters cellular transfection patterns in the sonicated regions following intranasal doses of DNA NPs. If successful, FUS may enable agents with poor capabilities of crossing the blood-brain barrier (BBB), e.g. neurotrophic factors, viral and non-viral vectors encoding them, to become disease-altering therapies by a non-invasive route of administration.Alberto Bazzocchi, MD, Rizzoli Institute (Italy), clinical project: “Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery: a pilot study in the treatment of pain caused by osteoarthritis - hand and hip, challenging joints.”Pain caused by osteoarthritis is a matter of huge impact, in terms of quality of life, social, and economic burdens. The aging of the population is even going to augment the problem. The hand is the most affected site in the upper limb, and the trapeziometacarpal joint is crucial for the prevalence of the disease and for determining significant limitations of function when involved. In the lower limb, the hip and the knee share the leading position in the clinical scenario, with the former being historically the most frequently submitted to joint replacement. At any site, the vast majority of joint replacement surgery procedures are performed because of pain. Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery (MRgFUS) has recently demonstrated a great potential in fighting pain caused by different medical conditions, including osteoarthritis. The aim of the work is to study the feasibility, the safety, and the potential efficacy of MRgFUS in treating pain from osteoarthritis in two "hot" spots: the hip and the trapeziometacarpal joint.Charles Caskey, PhD, Vanderbilt University, preclinical project: “Noninvasive targeted neuromodulation and functional imaging in behaving macaques.”All presently available neural stimulation methods are either invasive or can only be moderately localized, and a neurostimulation method that could overcome these limitations would be invaluable for the mapping of brain circuits, disease diagnosis in the brain, neurosurgery and therapy. Neural stimulation with magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a promising technology that can noninvasively excite or inhibit neural activity in well-defined discrete volumes of the brain, subsequently enabling investigation of brain circuits with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this study, we seek to explore ultrasonic neuromodulation in the frontal eye field of a macaque monkey, while measuring the effects of neuromodulation via event-related potentials, behavioral responses, and blood oxygen level dependent functional MRI.Pierre Mourad, PhD, University of Washington, preclinical project: “Modulated focused ultrasound for treatment of demyelinating axons in multiple sclerosis lesions - pilot animal studies.”Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease whose symptoms arise from demyelination of axons within brain tissue with an attendant loss of central and peripheral function. We, among others, have shown that transcranial delivery of pulsed focused ultrasound (pFU) can non-destructively activate central neural circuits. Others have shown enhanced myelin remodeling of axons activated by laser light in an optogenetic mouse model. We hypothesize that pFU activation of axons within MS lesions in a rodent model will decrease their demyelination and increase their re-myelination. If successful, this non-invasive therapy may lead to rapid advancements in the treatment of MS and other demyelinating neurological disorders.See the complete database of funded projects.
Researchers who are interested in applying for an external research award should contact Matt Eames, PhD, Director of Extramural Research, (434) 326-9834 or
The Richard Merkin Visiting Fellowship Program will begin on January 1, 2015 with the arrival of Dong-guk Paeng, PhD from Jeju National University in Korea.
Could focused ultrasound be a safer and more effective treatment for hypersplenism (a common disease where the spleen is overactive and removes blood cells too early and too quickly) than current conventional treatments? When it comes to biomedical engineering, focused ultrasound transducers can have complicated geometric patterns – is 3D printing the answer to their fabrication?
Potential Boon to Future Regulatory Approval of Non-thermal Brain Applications Also Wins Prestigious Research Prize
The Roberts Prize for the best article published in Physics in Medicine and Biology was recently awarded to Costas Arvanitis, Margaret Livingstone, and Nathan McDannold from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston for their article “Combined Ultrasound and MR Imaging to Guide Focused Ultrasound Therapies in the Brain.”More than a way to monitor focused ultrasound (FUS), such as FUS-induced blood-brain barrier disruption, their work could likely be a key to demonstrating the level of safety required by regulatory agencies who will review focused ultrasound treatment of brain conditions.
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.
Institute now studying Essential Tremor, Parkinson's, and Tumors
North Carolina scientist Paul Dayton, PhD is in the final stages of a Foundation-funded study on the use of nanodroplets to improve the efficiency of focused ultrasound ablation.
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.
The receipt of a significant gift from Dr. Richard Merkin has allowed the Foundation to create a unique fellowship opportunity for international researchers. Applications are now being accepted. For information on the application process, contact Matt Eames, PhD, Director of Extramural Research, .
A group of 24 researchers from 14 organizations met March 3-4 in Charlottesville to inventory the current state of the field, identify important applications, and chart a course for the first clinical use of FUS–induced neuromodulation. Participants represented academia, industry, government, and the Foundation.
New Scientist, an international science magazine based in London, has featured a groundbreaking new study that could treat brain tumors using a combination of focused ultrasound and drug therapy. This story builds on the publication's previous coverage of focused ultrasound technology.
Kullervo Hynynen, a medical physicist at Sunnybrook Research Institute in Toronto, Canada, will begin a study to investigate the use of focused ultrasound to reversibily open the blood brain barrier, – the protective layer around blood vessels that shields our brain against outside threats. The study hopes that once the barrier is open, microbubbles filled with chemotherapy agents will be able to enter and treat brain tumors.
If successful, the team thinks that this procedure might also one day be used to treat Alzheimer's disease.
Read the full story.
Richard Price, University of Virginia biomedical engineering professor, and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University are working together to open the blood-brain barrier and allow drug-bearing nanoparticles into the brain tissue. Their goal is to provide a new treatment for gliobastomas, the most common form of brain cancer.Price has developed a technique to breach the blood-brain barrier using microbubbles. By applying low-frequency ultrasound, one can cause the bubbles to oscillate, disrupting the blood-brain barrier. However, this is only the first challenge in treating gliobastomas.Brain cells are tightly packed, hindering therapeutic agents from diffusing through the brain. Here, researchers at Johns Hopkins stepped in, developing a nanoparticle coated in polyethylene glycol, enabling it to disperse freely. “We joined forces with John Hopkins because we each had a technology that addresses one of the two big physical barriers to drug delivery in the brain,” Price said. “We decided to put the two technologies together and see if that combination can actually produce efficacy.”Learn more about what these breakthroughs might mean for brain cancer treatment. Read the full story as it appeared in UVAToday and InTheCapital.
An alternative method of tissue fractionation--boiling histotripsy--has been developed in a unique collaboration between and the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle and Moscow State University (MSU) in Russia. Drs. Vera A. Khokhlova, Lawrence A. Crum, and the growing UW/MSU teams have developed the method that uses longer (millisecond instead of microsecond) duration focused ultrasound pulses to generate a millimeter-sized boiling bubble (instead of a cavitation cloud) through tissue heating by shocks. Two papers that detailed their groundbreaking work were published in Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology and the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.
Speakers at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) Annual Meeting in Vienna, Austria, lauded the potential for Focused Ultrasound to be one of the most important treatment options on the horizon. MedicalPhysicsWeb.com reported on the conference, speaking with leaders in the focused ultrasound field about the key applications discussed.
Uterine fibroids remains the most widely approved application of focused ultrasound, with the potential to help countless women. Discussion centered on ideas to overcome the slow adoption rates to date.
7th Space, an online portal covering news and headlines, has featured an article published in the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound (JTU). The JTU is the official publication of the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, which was recently chosed to be indexed on PubMed.
The article, authored largely by scientists and researchers at the Foundation, offers a snapshot of the field of focused ultrasound and its progress in the past decade.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation has published its January 2014 Focused Ultrasound Global Perspective report, a comprehensive overview of the state of the technology, including facts and figures on approved indications, manufacturers, research centers, and treatment sites. This report will serve as a trusted resource for academia, government, industry, and investors, enabling them to monitor progress in the field and guide decision making.The report is now available on our website. An update will be produced every six months, identifying significant research and commercialization trends for the technology.
A major milestone in the evolution of the field of focused ultrasound has been achieved. The first treatment in a 20-patient pilot study assessing the feasibility, safety, and preliminary efficacy of MR-guided focused ultrasound for dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease was successfully performed in Korea. This groundbreaking study is being funded in partnership with the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Focused ultrasound physics pioneer Professor Gail ter Haar, head of the Foundation’s Center of Excellence at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, traveled with Foundation staff to Washington to deliver a presentation to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on her team’s work in quality assurance and standardization of high intensity focused ultrasound.
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.
Focused ultrasound pioneer Dr. Wladyslaw Gedroyc has been named Clinical Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound(JTU), replacing start-up editor Dr. Arik Hananel.
A consultant radiologist, Dr. Gedroyc is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in the development of noninvasive patient treatments using MR-guided focused ultrasound. Much of Dr. Gedroyc's ground-breaking work involved the treatment of uterine fibroids, pancreatic tumors, and liver tumors. He is currently investigating a focused ultrasound application to alleviate the severe back pain associated with facet joint disease.
Focused ultrasound treatment for Parkinson's disease was featured as the cover story in the December issue of Practical Neurology.
The article consisted of a Q&A with Dr. Binit B. Shah, MD, Assistant Professor, Neurology, Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Division at University of Virginia.
Additional research is being conducted around the world on breast cancer and breast fibroadenoma. For example, collaboration between Philips and Utrecht University Medical Center in the Netherlands is using an innovative system that has been designed specifically to treat breast tissue.
Focused ultrasound research presentations made an impressive showing at this year’s RSNA annual meeting. A remarkable 27 sessions featured research on focused ultrasound ablation and/or drug delivery to treat many different diseases, including breast cancer, bone metastases, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma, uterine fibroids, and osteoid osteoma.
The Foundation’s External Research Awards Program has approved two new proposals for funding. One project is from the high-risk track, and the other is from the clinical indication track.
The high-risk project is led by Zhen Xu, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan and will study the use of the mechanical effects of focused ultrasound to break up the blood clots that cause deep vein thrombosis. The clinical indication project is a pilot study in pediatric osteoid osteoma led by Michael Temple, M.D., at SickKids Hospital in Toronto.
Results of a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) suggest MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) may offer a safe, noninvasive treatment option for breast cancer.
Experts who gathered at the June Brain Workshop were successful in identifying major opportunities and challenges for expanding the area in the brain that can be treated with focused ultrasound. Event details, including issues discussed and long-term projects, were reported in ourJuly newsletter.
The Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) was held in Atlanta on September 22-25, 2013. This meeting is the largest assembly of radiation oncology physicians and researchers in the world. Focused ultrasound has a growing and important role in clinical research in radiation oncology, and highlights included:
1. J. E. Meyer from the Fox Chase Cancer Center presented their work on the pain palliation of bone metastases using focused ultrasound. Their retrospective analysis showed breast cancer metastases as having the best response rate (87%), which may impact future patient selection and treatment decisions.
More than 200 clinicians and scientists from Europe and across the globe gathered in Rome this month for the Focused Ultrasound Therapy - 2nd European Symposium, which was supported by the Foundation.
“The symposium more than met our goals of sharing knowledge and stimulating new ideas,” said symposium co-chair Alessandro Napoli, MD, PhD, of Sapienza University of Rome. “The meeting helped to establish and consolidate relations, foster discussion of research approaches, and fuel advances in the field.”
The National Cancer Institute has awarded Dennis Parker, PhD, and his team of researchers at theUtah Center for Advanced Imaging Research (part of the University of Utah School of Medicine) funding to further their work using focused ultrasound to treat breast cancer. After completing successful initial studies funded by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, the Utah group was able to secure this prestigious R01 award to continue this promising work.
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.
On September 4, more than 100 researchers, clinicians, and students from 14 departments attended the UVA Focused Ultrasound Center Evening Symposium.
Presentations from experts covered a wide range of topics, including developments in MRI technology for focused ultrasound (FUS) applications, FUS-mediated drug delivery, and clinical and pre-clinical brain studies. The symposium also highlighted novel applications, such as exploring the use of FUS to aid traditional immunotherapy and treat osteoarthritic pain (see related story in our September 2013 Newsletter). This work showcases not only the versatility of the technology, but the breadth of indications on the horizon in FUS research.
The Foundation is now seeking applicants for the Richard Merkin Visiting Fellowship in Focused Ultrasound, created by Richard Merkin, MD, to foster collaboration between the Foundation and other institutions .
The Fellowship in Focused Ultrasound is open to any mid-career or senior scientist or clinician from industry or academia around the world to work with the technical and scientific team at the Focused Ultrasound Foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia for about 12 months. The position will foster collaboration between the Foundation, the Fellow's home institution, and other institutions and will be paid through an annualized stipend of $150,000.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the Kinetics Foundation organized a workshop in September to discuss the state of the technology, current challenges, and future research directions for using focused ultrasound to reversibly open the blood-brain barrier to allow the delivery of drugs directly to the brain for treatment of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other central nervous system disorders.
Feng Wu, MD, PhD, has been selected as Honorary President of the 4th International Symposium on Current and Future Applications of Focused Ultrasound to be held October 12-16, 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland.
Wu has been a steadfast champion of focused ultrasound for more than 25 years. To date, his teams in China have treated more than 50,000 tumor patients, the largest population of focused ultrasound-treated patients in the world. Now living in England, Wu is a Focused Ultrasound Consultant and Senior Clinical Scientist at Oxford University. He is a leading researcher in the field, having published more than 200 papers. In 2013, he was awarded the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound’s William and Francis Fry Award for his outstanding contributions to the field.
Focused Ultrasound Foundation, Royal Philips, The Institute of Cancer Research, and The Royal Marsden collaborate in centre to accelerate progress and establish global standards for focused ultrasound treatment ̶ enhancing patient care around the world
LONDON – September 5, 2013 – The Focused Ultrasound Foundation and Philips have entered into an innovative public-private collaboration with The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. The partnership will create a focal point for ultrasound therapy research at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden in London under the international Focused Ultrasound Foundation Centers of Excellence Program.
Held in Shanghai, China from May 12-15, the 2013 meeting of the International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) drew about 200 attendees and devoted an entire day to clinical presentations, indicating the society’s increasing emphasis on patient applications of therapeutic ultrasound.
Feng Wu, MD, PhD received the 2013 Fry Award, which is given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to therapeutic ultrasound. Wu is a HIFU Consultant and Senior Clinical Scientist at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Craig H. Meyer, PhD has received a $100,000 Research Award from the Focused Ultrasound Foundation to develop a new real-time method for performing three-dimensional MR temperature mapping, a technique that could have a major impact on the safety, efficacy and procedural efficiency of focused ultrasound treatments.
“MR temperature mapping is an integral element of MR-guided focused ultrasound surgery. However, acquisition of the MR images required for calculating a temperature map is time consuming. At present, it is not possible using conventional non-accelerated MR techniques to acquire and reconstruct 3D temperature maps in real time,” explains Meyer, an associate professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology at the University of Virginia.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation was recently awarded a $600,000 grant by The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to help fund a pilot study of focused ultrasound for the treatment of dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease. The study will investigate the feasibility, safety and preliminary effectiveness of focused ultrasound as a non-invasive method to destroy a small volume of targeted tissue in the brain to improve motor symptoms and reduce the involuntary movements (dyskinesia) faced by Parkinson’s patients.
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.
Researchers from the Bonn University Hospital in Germany have filed a patent application for a focused ultrasound method that reduces impairment of cardiac function after an acute heart attack. In the method, microbubbles are injected into the bloodstream following a heart attack. When the bubbles reach the heart, stimulation with focused ultrasound causes them to oscillate and ameliorate the muscle damage that normally occurs after cardiac arrest.
Patients with localized prostate cancer are receiving treatment in a new clinical study assessing the safety of a transurethral ultrasound ablation system developed by Toronto-based Profound Medical Inc. The system, which uses a specially designed wand to deliver thermal ablative therapy, operates under MR guidance. It works on a variety of MRI platforms, can be moved from scanner to scanner and treats the whole prostate gland in one session.
First patient trial at Swedish Medical Center will be for essential tremor
One of the most prestigious neuroscience centers in the world is gearing up to become a major clinical force in MR-guided focused ultrasound brain research. Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) at the Cherry Hill campus of Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, USA will soon treat patients with essential tremor as part of an upcoming Phase III multicenter randomized trial and is considering studies for epilepsy, Parkinsonian tremor, metastatic tumors and intracerebral hemorrhage.
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.
April 29, 2013 - University of Virginia neurosurgeon W. Jeffrey Elias reported today that one-year clinical data indicates that essential tremor patients treated with noninvasive transcranial focused ultrasound experienced significant disability reduction and improved quality of life. The research, which was funded by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, showed that patients experienced a 67 percent reduction in their dominant hand tremor scores and an 83 percent improvement in their disability scores.
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.
The growing field of therapeutic ultrasound welcomes its first open access journal
Open access publisher BioMed Central is proud to announce the launch of Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound in partnership with the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound.
Therapeutic ultrasound is a fast growing field and all parties involved believe that having a dedicated open access journal in this area can only speed up the development and eventual adoption of this important clinical tool by the wider medical community.
Focused ultrasound has the potential to be an alternative or complement for radiation therapy, the means to dissolve blood clots, and a way to deliver drugs in extremely high concentrations to a precise point in the body. It has the potential to treat a variety of serious medical disorders, including cancer, uterine fibroids, essential tremor, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and neuropathic pain.
“Focused ultrasound technology has enormous potential to improve the quality of lives for millions around the world,” noted Neal F. Kassell, M.D., Chairman and Founder of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “The research reported in the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound will be central to advancing the field and will help accelerate the progress of focused ultrasound towards clinical adoption.”
Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound encompasses all aspects of therapeutic ultrasound, namely, the stimulus, inhibition, or modification of tissue function or structure via insonification. Led by Editors-in-Chief Arik Hananel, Focused Ultrasound Foundation, USA and Robert Muratore, Quantum Now LLC, USA, with an international editorial board consisting of the best in the field of focused ultrasound, this open access, peer-reviewed, online journal focuses mainly on translational and clinical research.
Deborah Kahn, BioMed Central’s Publishing Director said, "We’re very pleased to welcome the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound as new publishing partners to BioMed Central, and we share their excitement in launching the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound within our growing list of society journals."
The launch edition includes two research articles. One looks at the impact of vaporized nanoemulsions on ultrasound-mediated ablation. If these results can be replicated in the clinic, microbubbles could improve the efficiency of high intensity ultrasound treatment of solid tumors. An editorial on ‘The Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound - broadening knowledge in a rapidly growing field’ by Editors-in-Chief Arik Hananel and Robert Muratore, is also featured.
All Article-Processing Charges (APC) for the journal are currently covered by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.
Media ContactRebecca FairbairnPublic Relations Manager, BioMed CentralTel: +44 (0) 20 3192 2433Mob: +44 (0) 7825 257423Email:
PMI initiates Transurethral Ultrasound Ablation (TULSA) clinical trial for novel, minimally invasive device for localized prostate cancer treatment
TORONTO, April 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Profound Medical Inc. today announced the commencement of its Health Canada approved, multi-center TULSA (Transurethral Ultrasound Ablation) clinical trial for its minimally invasive, novel ablation device used to facilitate prostate cancer treatment. In the world's first procedure of its kind, a patient was treated in a collaborative effort with London Health Sciences Center, Ontario, Western University, and the Lawson's Health Research Institute. The Canadian trial will include the treatment and one-year monitoring of 30 patients with localized prostate cancer. The device presents the potential for significantly improved clinical outcomes and a marked departure from current methods by virtue of its ability to treat the whole gland in one session with unprecedented accuracy and minimal side effects.
Alessandro Napoli, MD and his colleagues at the University of Roma La Sapienza in Italy are establishing a solid reputation as clinical trail-blazers for focused ultrasound. Their latest clinical study is the first to use MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat patients with unresectable, locally advanced pancreatic cancer. The study, which is expected to enroll 15-20 patients, is exploring the feasibility and clinical performance of MR-guided focused ultrasound ablation in palliating pain and controlling tumors. Four patients have received treatment to date and will be followed for up to 12 months.
In contrast to high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), which implies high-power and high-temperatures for short durations, focal HT relies on feedback control to maintain a much lower temperature rise (39-45° C) in larger contiguous regions over timeframes that can range from 15 to 60 minutes. Chris Diederich, PhD and his colleagues at the University of California San Francisco have a new use in mind for their site’s focused ultrasound device (InSightec’s ExAblate 2100 Prostate System). With a $100,000 research award from the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, they plan to modify the MR-guided ablation system so it can be used to deliver focal hyperthermia (HT) – a therapy that heats up tissue and is known to enhance clinical response to radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
The Lancet Neurology has published the early findings of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation-funded essential tremor clinical trial at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. The study, which was published online ahead of print, covered four patients treated between May 2012 and January 2013. The MR-guided focused ultrasound treatments, which were designed to impact tremor in one hand, resulted in immediate and sustained tremor improvements. Mean tremor scores decreased by 89.4% at one month and by 81.3% at three months, when the follow-up period concluded. Reported side-effects included post-operative paraesthesias (tingling) in one patient and deep vein thrombosis in another.
Due to numerous requests, the abstract deadline has been extended one last time. The deadline for submission will be March 21 at 11:59 PM Pacific Daylight Time US. The abstract review process will be conducted during this time to process abstracts already received so we ask that you please not try to revise these abstracts. This will provide responses to those authors that submitted previously. Authors submitting abstracts during this extension period are encourage to submit as soon as possible to obtain a timely review, particularly those requiring travel documentation. Thank you to all those who have submitted their abstracts already and we look forward to a great meeting in Shanghai.
Guofeng Shen, Program Committee Chair
Brian Fowlkes, ISTU Secretary
13th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound scheduled for May 12-15 in Shanghai, China.
Page 4 of 6