• Harvard’s Seung-Schik Yoo Discusses Research in FUS-mediated Neuromodulation

    Applications may include epilepsy, stroke, movement disorders, and depression

    Seung-Schik Yoo, Ph.D., MBA, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, is in search of a non-invasive method to assess region-specific brain functions and to modify and control aberrant brain activities. His recent neuromodulation research indicates that MR-guided focused ultrasound may provide the capabilities he seeks.

    Continue reading >

  • Researcher at UVA FUS Center of Excellence Receives Prestigious NREF Grant

    Deadly brain hemorrhages are the subject of focused ultrasound research being performed by Stephen Monteith, M.D., a senior neurosurgery resident at the University of Virginia.

    Monteith is one of nine grant recipients recently announced by the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). The prestigious NREF research fellowships provide training for neurosurgeons who are preparing for academic careers as clinician investigators.

    Continue reading >

  • FUS Foundation’s Brain Program is Off to a Strong Start

    Starting with its first thought-leaders’ meeting in March 2009, the FUS Foundation’s Brain Program has rapidly evolved into an international, multi-stakeholder initiative that is sponsoring research vital to the rapid advancement of MR-guided focused ultrasound.

    Continue reading >

  • On-line Abstract Submission and Registration Will Open May 15 for 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided FUS

    Researchers are invited to submit oral and poster presentation abstracts for the 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound. The online submission process, administered by SPLTrak, will open on May 15 and close on August 16, 2010.

    Abstracts covering late breaking research will be accepted from September 1 through 15, but will not be listed in the symposium program.

    Continue reading >

  • Special Preview: MR-guided Focused Ultrasound Lectures, Poster Sessions at International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound Meeting

    For the first time in its ten-year history, the International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound will feature special sessions devoted to the latest developments in MR-guided focused ultrasound. The roster of speakers and poster presenters includes researchers from leading institutions around the world, making ISTU 2010 a meeting that will have a powerful impact on the emerging field of MR-guided focused ultrasound.

    Below is a preliminary list of MR-guided FUS presenters. The complete ISTU 2010 scientific program can be found at: http://www.fel.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp/istu/Detail%20of%20program.pdf

    Continue reading >

  • Nathan McDannold is Guest Speaker at UVA Center of Excellence

    Leading focused ultrasound researcher Nathan McDannold, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, lectured and met with researchers and clinicians at the FUS Center of Excellence at the University of Virginia on March 24.

    McDannold’s lecture, part of a speaker’s series funded by the FUS Foundation, was on “MRI-guided focused ultrasound for noninvasive ablation and targeted drug delivery.” He provided an overview of key research, technology and the major issues involved in developing MR-guided FUS applications for the brain and various cancers.

    Continue reading >

  • MR-guided FUS Shows Exciting Promise as Noninvasive Treatment for Back Pain

    As a noninvasive therapy for the extreme back pain of facet joint osteoarthritis, MR-guided focused ultrasound shows considerable promise, reports Even Weeks, M.D., a FUS Foundation funded fellow at St. Mary’s Hospital in London.

    Weeks and his colleagues are conducting a prospective, non-randomized clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Insightec’s ExAblate system as a therapeutic technique for facet joint pain. Their goal is to enroll 20 to 25 patients and to follow them for a year to assess adverse effects, pain levels and functional outcome measures.

    Continue reading >

  • 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.

    Continue reading >

  • 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.

    Continue reading >

  • UK Researchers Receive $1.9 Million Grant to Develop Targeted Cancer Treatment Using Heat-sensitive Nanoparticles and MR-guided FUS

    The UK’s leading research funding agency, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, has awarded a £1.25 – about $1.9 million – grant to researchers at Imperial College and King’s College in London to develop a localized cancer treatment using three key technologies: heat-sensitive nanoparticles, magnetic resonance imaging and MR-guided focused ultrasound.

    Continue reading >

  • On the Scene of the 2010 Brain Workshop - Day Two

    Collaboration is a key aspect of Day 2 of the Brain Workshop. Several attendees comment that it is truly beneficial to have scientists and clinicians meeting together and discussing technical issues, both in small work group and in general sessions.

    Presentations also underscore the value of collaboration. Several speakers present research that builds upon the work of other workshop participants. There is talk of having researchers and clinicians travel among various MR-guided focused ultrasound sites. This practice would promote cross-training and knowledge of different research projects and treatments under development.

    Continue reading >

  • On the Scene of the 2010 Brain Workshop - The Last Day

    Today is closing day for the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation's 2010 Brain Workshop. In his wrap-up remarks, Foundation CEO Neal Kassell, MD, observes, "This workshop accomplished everything we set out to do."

    Continue reading >

  • On the Scene of the 2010 Brain Workshop

    The 2010 Brain Workshop is now in progress.

    Excitement is in the air. Virtually every pioneer and thought leader in the field of MR-guided Focused Ultrasound for brain treatments is in the room. Attendees represent academia, industry and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and include a international mix of specialties: neurosurgeons, neurologists, neuroradiologists, neuroscientists, biomedical engineers, physicists, product-development managers and medical device company executives.

    Continue reading >

  • Third International Symposium on Focal Therapy and Imaging of Prostate and Kidney Cancer

    Third International Symposium on Focal Therapy and Imaging of Prostate and Kidney Cancer. Fairmont Hotel, Washington, DC.  February 24-27, 2010.

    Duke Comprehensive Care Cancer Center, Sponsor

    Existing ultrasound-based technologies for treatment of prostate cancer lack accurate real-time thermal feedback during therapy, so treatment is protocol-based rather than patient-specific. Prostate motion during focal treatment is a significant issue that must be addressed.  MRI-guidance (for FUS or laser therapy) continues to offer distinct advantages.

    Thought leaders in urology emphasize applying focal therapy to men who truly need treatment, citing some question about the level of accurate characterization by imaging and multi-site biopsies. The option of reliable focal therapy is in fact driving the movement towards more efficient characterization.  It is important to separate out those men who truly have “low risk disease” and might be managed safely by active surveillance.

    Continue reading >

  • New Study Released on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound and Uterine Fibroids

    This week at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 35th Annual Scientific Meeting, Mayo Clinic researchers released the results of a 119-patient study that used MR-guided Focused Ultrasound* to treat uterine fibroids.

    The study covered a period of nearly three years, with patient feedback collected via phone interview 12 months post procedure. Of the 89 patients interviewed, 97% reported improvement in their symptoms, and 90% rated their improvement as either considerable or excellent. Over the next three years, the researchers will gather additional feedback about symptom relief from these patients at the 24-month and 36-month milestones.

    Continue reading >

  • Laurent Leksell and Kullervo Hynynen Will be Featured Speakers at 2nd International MR-guided FUS Symposium


    Two pioneers in the field of noninvasive image-guided treatments – one an internationally-known entrepreneur and business executive, the other a physicist and world-class academic researcher – will be among the featured speakers at the 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound in Washington, D.C. from October 17-20, 2010.

    The Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation has announced that Laurent Leksell, co-founder and long-time President and CEO of Gamma Knife-maker Elekta AB, will deliver the symposium’s keynote Batten Family Lecture.Based in Sweden, he currently serves as an executive member of Elekta’s board and is a member of its executive committee for the Asia Pacific Region.

    Continue reading >

  • Industry Profile: Celsion

    The heat is on at Celsion

    Small biotech is making giant strides in heat-mediated targeted drug delivery

     

    Heat-sensitive nanotechnology is moving closer to dramatically changing cancer therapy. In the near future, this technology will be used to deposit chemotherapy directly onto tumors, minimizing toxic side effects and maximizing treatment efficacy. Though small in size (17 employees), Maryland-based Celsion Corporation is making a huge impact on this important and emerging area of medicine.

    Founded in 1982 as Cheung Laboratories, Inc., Celsion specializes in developing products for heat-based medical treatments. In its early years, the company produced devices. It turned its attention to drug making in the late 1990’s after licensing a heat-activated liposomal technology from Duke University. That technology serves as the platform for the company’s first investigational nanomedicine, ThermoDox, a liposome-encased form of a potent, widely used cancer drug, doxorubicin.

    In the future, Celsion expects to use its liposomal encapsulation technology for other therapeutics and indications.

     

    First investigational drug: ThermoDox

    One hundred nanometers in size, ThermoDox liposomes transport doxorubicin intact through a patient’s bloodstream to treatment sites (tumors) that have been heated to the level of mild hyperthermia (40-42 degrees Celsius; 104-107.6 degrees Fahrenheit). When activated by the heat, the liposomes restructure and create channels through which doxorubicin rapidly disperses into surrounding tissue, precisely where needed.

     

     

    Two clinical trials are now evaluating ThermoDox as a treatment for primary liver cancer (the global 600-patient Phase III HEAT Study) and for recurrent chest wall breast cancer (the stateside 100-patient Phase I/II DIGNITY Study). The HEAT study is using radiofrequency ablation to both activate ThermoDox and destroy liver tumors. Expected to be completed by June 2010, the DIGNITY trial is using a non-ablative mild heat energy to trigger the drug’s release. Celsion expects to file New Drug Applications after completion of each study.

     

    Later this year, the company will begin a randomized Phase II study to evaluate ThermoDox and radiofrequency ablation as a treatment for colorectal liver metastases. Montefiore Medical Center in New York City will be the lead site, and Celsion expects to add at least two other study locations in North America and in the Asia Pacific region. Launch of the new trial follows completion of a Phase I safety study involving 24 patients, 15 of whom had liver metastases from nine primary sites.


    Combining MR-guided FUS with ThermoDox

    Working in partnership with Royal Philips Electronics (parent company of Philips Healthcare), Celsion has also begun exploring the use of ThermoDox in combination with magnetic resonance-guided high intensity focused ultrasound (FUS) to treat various solid tumor cancers. Researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto and Université de Bordeaux in France have helped establish technical parameters for this combined therapy. Celsion is reported to be in discussions with the FDA regarding the launch of Phase I/II clinical trials to evaluate ThermoDox with MR-guided FUS in treating metastatic bone cancer and pancreatic cancer.

    In recent weeks, the Center for Translational Molecular Medicine, a public-private research consortium based in the Netherlands, awarded 6.4 million Euro (approximately $8.7 million U.S.) to Celsion and Philips to develop FUS-mediated ThermoDox therapies for liver tumors and secondary bone tumors. Set to begin in May 2010, the project will be led by the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands. Also participating are Technical University Eindhoven in the Netherlands and the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Center in the U.S. As a first step, the group will conduct pre-clinical studies to assess doxorubicin drug delivery and to optimize MR-guided FUS performance in this application. According to Celsion, an Investigational New Drug submission is planned for 2010, following successful completion of the pre-clinical studies.

    Written by Ellen C., McKenna

    Continue reading >

  • Thilo Hoelscher, M.D. exploring use of FUS to treat ischemic stroke

    Trained as a neurologist, Thilo Hoelscher, M.D., has travelled a long way from his native Germany and his early clinical experiences at that country’s first stroke unit. Now an assistant professor in the Departments of Radiology and Neurosciences at the University of California San Diego, he is Director of its Brain Ultrasound Research Laboratory and working once again on the forefront of medicine.

    As a researcher and clinician, Hoelscher has extensive experience in using transcranial ultrasound as a diagnostic tool. In 2007, he learned about high intensity focused ultrasound and became intrigued with its potential to treat the human brain. Since then, he has completed hundreds of preclinical experiments with FUS and concentrated on developing therapies based on a clot-busting technique, transcranial sonothrombolysis. He recently received a multi-million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to study sonothrombolysis as a treatment for ischemic stroke.

    Hoelscher, who received a FUSF fellowship in 2009, expects to begin pilot clinical trials in 2011 using FUS to treat stroke and believes success is inevitable. “Once it is approved for use in patients, FUS will be without equal – it will have no competition. In treating ischemic stroke, for example, it will dissolve blood clots and restore blood flow within seconds. Drugs like tPA won’t be necessary,” he says.

    Hoelscher’s work has moved beyond exploring the thermal ablative capabilities of FUS to assessing its use in precise drug delivery and its ability to induce cellular mechanisms.

    Noting that the pace of FUS research is accelerating, he says. “Our work has been booming during the last six to eight months. Everything has started to progress rapidly. Researchers from all over the place are interested in focused ultrasound. Ideas and new collaborations are popping up everywhere.”

    Continue reading >

  • FUSF Adds Two New Staff Members

    Matt Eames - Brain Program Senior Project Engineer

    Matt Eames, PhD, is supporting the development of technical infrastructure for clinical FUS.

    Eames earned his doctorate in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia in ultrasound. Funding for his position was made possible by an anonymous $1 million donation to the FUSF Brain Program.

    Continue reading >

  • Thilo Hölscher M.D., Visiting Professor

    Thilo Hölscher M.D.,Visiting Professor at UVA and the Foundation in January

    Dr. Thilo Hölscher, Assistant Professor in both Radiology and Neurosciences at the University of California at San Diego, was a guest of the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation and the University of Virginia Department of Neurosurgery on January 13-14, 2010.  Dr. Hölscher attended medical school at the University of Essen in Germany, and did his neurology residency training both there and at the University of Regensburg.  He began a research fellowship in transcranial ultrasound as a Co-Investigator on a P50 NIH grant at the University of California at San Diego in the summer of 2002, where he became an assistant professor in 2004.

    Dr. Hölscher is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the use of focused ultrasound in the dissolution of intravascular clot in the treatment of stroke.  He has been instrumental in assisting the Brain Program of the Foundation in developing a comprehensive road map for the pre-clinical studies necessary to complete before beginning pilot clinical trials in patients.

    The Foundation has funded Dr. Hölscher in several ways, including work he proposed to generate a skull data base of sound absorption coefficients in 150 skulls of a wide variety of shapes and thicknesses. Shear waves and significant acoustic characteristics are much more significant at lower frequencies (those used for certain transcranial FUS). This is important in offering the possibility of expeditious treatment of stroke patients by omitting the time-consuming process of calculating the correction algorithms for each individual patient.

    The combined CT and sound field data acquired will be important to another ongoing FUSF study involving simulations to investigate the possible generation of standing waves or hot spots due to natural focusing within the skull (intracranial reflection). These studies are critical to the overall safety of FUS in the brain.

    Dr. Hölscher presented his work to a multidisciplinary audience at UVA Medical Center on January 13, 2010.  He discussed the optimal power range for sonothrombolysis, the potential role of microbubble enhancement and even the possibility of replacing tPA (tissue Plasminogen Activator, a significant cause of hemorrhagic risk as currently employed with stroke patients) with microbubbles, greatly decreasing the risks of treatment.

    Illustrating the global nature of his research interests, he finished his talk with a provocative review of the possibilities of inducing heat shock proteins, eradicating Lewy bodies in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and even vagal nerve stimulation using FUS to treat the gastrointestinal complications of traumatic brain injury.

    Dr. Hölscher was recently awarded NIH RO1 funding as a multi-million dollar grant to study sonothrombolysis in the treatment of stroke.

    Continue reading >

  • A Small (Funding-Wise) Focus on CER for Fibroids

    Discussions about Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) were not commonplace conversation just over a year ago, but as the Health Care Reform initiative has progressed, it seems that nearly every single day we hear something about CER. Just last week Medical Devices Today published a piece about the amount of NIH Comparative Effectiveness Research funding dollars committed solely to medical-device-focused CER in 2009, and the number was significant at $40 Million. While some of these monies were directed to the establishment of CER centers at different universities, the majority involved short-term (2 year) studies in CER with funding totals for each project approximately $500,000. These short-term projects were funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as part of the economic stimulus package.

    Continue reading >

  • InSightec's ExAblate Device Approved in Japan for Fibroids

    InSightec Ltd. announced today that Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) has approved the company’s ExAblate® MR-guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) system for the treatment of women with uterine fibroids.

    “We are very pleased that the Japanese Ministry of Health has approved the ExAblate system and that women in Japan will now have access to a noninvasive treatment option for uterine fibroids,” said Dr. Kobi Vortman, President and Chief Executive Officer of InSightec. “The approval was based on a growing body of evidence showing that ExAblate is a safe, effective, and durable treatment for this widespread, life-impacting condition. ExAblate is an outpatient procedure and patients normally return home the same day and to work within one to two days compared to lengthy hospitalizations and recovery times associated with more invasive procedures such as hysterectomy, myomectomy or UAE.”

    Read the full press release here

    Continue reading >

  • ISTU Report

    The 9th Annual International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) met recently in Aix en Provence, France and featured 128 speakers, dozens of technical posters, and brought together hundreds of experts in the field of focused ultrasound research. The meeting, sponsored in part by the FUS Foundation, is the premier yearly conference highlighting the engineering and technical work done to allow focused ultrasound to treat a myriad of medical conditions. Particularly exciting was the number of young and talented investigators that are leading the wave of new advances and applications. Also exciting was the large presence of equipment manufacturers showcasing their latest advancements including Philips, InSightec, Siemens, Haifu, Supersonic Imagine, and Profound Medical.

    Featured prominently at the meeting was the more established use of focused ultrasound in heating targeted areas of the body to destroy diseased tissue and the conference included the latest advances in using the technology to treat uterine fibroids, prostate cancer, breast cancer, brain tumors, and other diseases. One of the tumor types receiving particular attention this conference were liver tumors which require special techniques to pass the ultrasound beams through the rib cage and visualize and track the liver while in motion due to the patient’s respiration. In addition to the use of focused ultrasound to ablate diseased tissue non-invasively, there was more emphasis than ever on the non-thermal applications of focused ultrasound in areas such as targeted drug delivery and the disruption of clots found in stroke patients.

    Some highlights of the ISTU meeting observed by members of the Foundation staff include the following:

    Continue reading >

  • Speakers from Arizona to Zurich Join in Research Symposium to Mark Opening of Focused Ultrasound Center at UVA

    To celebrate the opening of UVA’s new Focused Ultrasound Center, an international array of speakers joined in a research symposium on September 14. The symposium featured presentations from the UVA team that will run the center and lead its research efforts, together with lectures by visiting speakers from Houston, London, Arizona, and Zurich.

    Continue reading >

  • First Human Trials for MRI-guided Trans-urethral Ultrasound Technique for Prostate Cancer: Profound Medical Inc.

    The first human proof-of-concept study has begun at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada.

    Supported by an independent research grant, research scientists at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, led by Chief of Urology, Dr Laurence Klotz, MD, have successfully begun the first human, proof-of-concept study for treating prostate cancer using their novel MRI-guided, trans-urethral ultrasound technique.

    After extensive testing of the technology in mathematical, gel, and pre-clinical models, the potential new treatment is now undergoing trials in a number of patient volunteers to affirm its safety, accuracy, and precision.

    The core intellectual property from this technology has been exclusively licensed to Profound Medical Inc. of Toronto, Canada, to accelerate commercialization under the guidance of the FDA and Health Canada.

    “We commend the team at Sunnybrook for their exemplary research and clinical work. It’s a significant moment in the company’s history, as well as potentially having a major impact on how prostate cancer patients may be treated in the next decade. We can expect to proceed as planned with human clinical feasibility trials in the USA and Canada in the near future with our medical device,” stated Paul Chipperton, CEO of PMI.

    Continue reading >

  • Third Autumn School on Therapeutic Ultrasound – Attendee Reports

    On September 28, 2009, more than 75 attendees trekked to Cargese, Corsica, for the Third Autumn School on Therapeutic Ultrasound.  The School was directed by Gail ter Haar, PhD, of the Institute of Cancer Research, and Mathias Fink, PhD, founder of the Institut Langevin in Paris.

    The organizational heavy lifting was undertaken by two full-time researchers at the Institut Langevin, Jean-François Aubry and Jean-Luc Gennisson, who did an exceptional job of bringing together attendees from 10 countries, including 19 faculty members.  For the students, it was an incomparable opportunity to learn from the leaders in the rapidly emerging field of therapeutic ultrasound.  The lectures began with an introduction to the physics and biophysics to build the foundation for understanding the technical aspects of therapeutic ultrasound, followed by individual lectures on topics ranging from commercial devices for treating prostate cancer to emerging applications for focused ultrasound.  – Joy Polefrone, PhD, FUSF

    The small town of Cargese, with only 290 inhabitants, allowed all of the sage and budding scientists in this newly emerging field to delve into the current technology, assess new developments as well as systems under development, and freely explore a wide range of biological and engineering challenges to FUS. The setting afforded ample opportunities for participants to meet with faculty while looking out over the cliffs, beaches, and Mediterranean sunsets.  Where or when the next FUS school for scientists will take place is not yet known – France, London, or the USA.  But hopefully it will afford opportunities to delve into many topics and to appraise the latest developments in the field with the same success experienced in Cargese in 2009. Stanley H. Benedict, PhD,University ofVirginia

    Continue reading >

  • UVA Research Symposium - Detailed Meeting Report

    A dedicated Focused Ultrasound Center with comprehensive research plans

    The Symposium was opened by James M. Larner, MD, chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at UVA, and director of the new Focused Ultrasound Center. “If this technology is half as successful as many people in this audience today would say, a number of other technologies will be disrupted,” Larner said. “But we have no choice but to recognize and help uncover the truth.”

    Continue reading >

  • Doctors and Dignitaries Gather to Celebrate Opening of New Focused Ultrasound Center

    Over 140 attendees assembled for the official Dedication of the UVA Focused Ultrasound Surgery Center on the afternoon of September 14th, at the Jordan Hall conference center of the University of Virginia.

    Neal F. Kassell, MD, professor of neurosurgery at UVA, and founder and chairman of the Foundation, noted that focused ultrasound is where MRI was 20 years ago. “In the next 10 years, everybody here will have been treated with focused ultrasound or will know someone who has,” Dr. Kassell predicted. “This new technology has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people – each day’s delay translates into unnecessary death and disability.”

    Continue reading >

  • Philips Healthcare CEO Joins Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation Board of Directors

    Steve Rusckowski, CEO of Philips Healthcare, was elected to the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation Board of Directors at its meeting on September 14, 2009.

    The Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation is delighted to announce the election of Steve Rusckowski to its Board of Directors.

    Mr. Rusckowski became the executive vice president and chief executive officer of Philips Healthcare in November, 2006, and has been a member of the Philips Board of Management since April 2007. He was previously CEO of the Imaging Systems business group of Philips Healthcare.

    Continue reading >

  • Focused Ultrasound "Center of Excellence" Opens at University of Virginia - Aims to Hasten Adoption of New Technology

    Five years in the making, the first of several “Centers of Excellence” planned by the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation was dedicated at the University of Virginia on September 14. Its mission: to become a leader in translational (or applied) and clinical research, training, and patient care, employing MR-guided Focused Ultrasound.

    The UVA Center – and others like it still to be created – will play a central role in spurring the development of this new and promising technology.

    Continue reading >

  • NIH Funding Opportunities

    The NIH is currently seeking "high risk, high impact proposals" for its 2010 NIH Director's Pioneer Awards and New Innovator Awards Programs, both of which are part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.

    Pioneer Awards provide up to $2.5 million in direct costs over 5 years and are open to scientists at any career stage. New Innovator Awards provide up to $1.5 million in direct costs over the same period and are for early stage investigators who have not yet received an NIH regular research (R01) or similar NIH grant.

    The deadline for submitting Pioneer Award applications is October 20, 2009. For more information, please see the instructions in the RFA(RFA-RM-09-010) and http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/pioneer.

    The deadline for submitting New Innovator Award applications is October 27, 2009. For more information, please see the instructions in the RFA(RFA-RM-09-011) and http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/newinnovator.

    Thanks to Ellie Murcia of the NIH Office of the Director for notifying us of these opportunities.

    Continue reading >

  • Landmark Progress in Noninvasive Treatment of Brain Disorders


    Ten-patient
    functional neurosurgery feasibility study shows potential for treating brain disorders with MR-guided focused ultrasound

    Eben Alexander III, M.D., and Rolf Taylor

    A groundbreaking new study has paved the way for clinical studies on the noninvasive treatment of a broad spectrum of brain disorders including Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, stroke, and brain tumors.

    A team at the University of Zürich, in Switzerland, has completed a pilot study using MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat 10 patients with neuropathic pain. The origin of pain in these patients included post-amputation phantom limb syndrome, nerve injury, stroke, trigeminal neuralgia, and post-herpetic neuralgia from shingles.  The findings will be published in a forthcoming issue of Annals of Neurology.

    The study was partially funded by the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation, which funds translational and clinical research into new therapeutic applications of MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS).

    The preliminary results in these patients are comparable to those obtained with conventional therapy – radiofrequency ablation – an invasive procedure that involves making an incision in the scalp, drilling a hole in the skull, inserting an electrode through normal brain tissue into the thalamus, and using radiofrequency electromagnetic waves to create the lesion.

    Functional neurosurgery involves alteration of the brain’s circuitry to treat various neurological conditions such as pain, movement, and behavioral disorders. It is a growing discipline that has developed over more than 60 years.  In general, treatment involves creating  lesions (destruction) in a neural circuit using radiofrequency ablation, or placing an electronic deep brain stimulator (DBS) to modulate the activity of a circuit.  Ablation has the advantage of treating the patient with a single procedure; however, it involves the risk of long-term neurological complications if the location of the lesion is suboptimal.

    Use of DBS has the advantage of reversibility in the event of improper location, but is far more expensive in terms of monetary cost and the time spent by specialists programming and maintaining the stimulator and its power supply. In addition, both ablative lesions (commonly performed by inserting a radiofrequency electrode) and DBS involve electrode passage through the brain itself, with a significant risk of hemorrhage or infection. The latter is especially problematic in DBS placement for patients with Parkinson’s Disease, whose state of health and poor self-care result in four to seven times the risk of infection, compared to general neurosurgical patients.

    Stereotactic radiosurgery (using the Gamma Knife or Linear Accelerator) has demonstrated a somewhat limited applicability as a noninvasive method in certain functional neurosurgical disorders, especially trigeminal neuralgia (a common type of facial pain). However, its use of high levels of ionizing radiation may lead to significant complications.

    Focused ultrasound is the first truly noninvasive treatment approach to emerge as an alternative to surgery and radiation. By focusing thousands of ultrasound beams on a single point, the medical team can achieve the same therapeutic effect as radio frequency ablation and radiosurgery, but without the risks and complications associated with traditional surgery or ionizing radiation.

    “This study showed that we can perform successful operations in the depths of the brain without opening the cranium or physically penetrating the brain with medical tools, something that appeared to be unimaginable only a few years ago,” says Daniel Jeanmonod M.D., a neurosurgeon at the University of Zürich and the study’s co-principal investigator.

    “By eliminating any physical penetration into the brain, we hope to duplicate the therapeutic effects of invasive deep brain ablation without the side effects, and for a wider group of patients. The research funding from the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation allowed us to conduct the study rapidly and with scientific rigor,” adds Dr Jeanmonod. “We are an academic institution and this type of award is essential to our research process.”

    According to Neal Kassell, M.D., a neurosurgeon at the University of Virginia and chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation, the key advantage of focused ultrasound is that it is noninvasive. This, in principle, makes it safer than conventional surgery by avoiding the associated risks of infection, hemorrhage, and damage to the brain.

    “This research demonstrates that MR-guided focused ultrasound can be used noninvasively to produce small thermal ablations with extreme precision and accuracy deep in the brain,” explains Dr Kassell. “This lays the foundation for revolutionizing the treatment of a variety of brain disorders that traditionally required surgery, including Parkinson's disease and essential tremor, epilepsy, brain tumors, and stroke.”

    “We are pleased to have been able to provide funding for this groundbreaking research,” adds Eben Alexander, M.D., director of the Brain Development Program at the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation. “Dr. Jeanmonod’s work may help open the door to enable the noninvasive treatment of some of these most prevalent brain disorders.”

    Other research sites are expected to initiate clinical studies on the use of MR-guided focused ultrasound for treating brain disorders within the next year.

    {sharethis}

    Continue reading >

  • World Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery Report

    The World Society of Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (WSSFN) had its 15th Quadrennial Meeting in Toronto, Canada May 24-27, 2009 (Detailed program).  More than 500 functional neurosurgeons from around the world convened to discuss their latest findings.  As a group, functional neurosurgeons have the highest percentage of interest in MRgFUS of any group of clinical physicians (virtually 100%).

    There has been a surge in interest using deep brain stimulation (DBS) for neuromodulation in functional neurosurgery over the last decade.  The main limitations of DBS for movement disorders, pain and behavioral disorders are cost in both money and time, and the necessity of a neurosurgical operation that entails some risk of hemorrhage, infection, mechanical failure, neurologic damage, etc. One tremendous advantage of MRgFUS is the non-invasive nature of the technique. Any form of lesioning, including MRgFUS, gains significant advantage through targeting techniques that assure a safe, effective lesion location.  MRgFUS offers distinct advantages over other techniques through MR thermometry (visualization of the actual energy focus prior to lesioning) and neurophysiological assessment through transient neuromodulation effects.  This counters the main advantage of DBS, which is its reversibility in the face of a misplaced lead (with adverse neurologic symptoms.)

    Continue reading >

  • Founder Neal Kassell Featured in Podcast

    FUS Foundation founder Dr. Neal Kassell was recently featured in a radio interview from local news radio station WINA about focused ultrasound.

    Continue reading >

  • 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.

    Continue reading >

  • CBN Features Story on Focused Ultrasound and the Foundation

    The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) recently ran a feature on its telecast and web site about focused ultrasound surgery and the role of the FUS Foundation in accelerating the development and adoption of FUS technology.

    Entitled "The Sonic Miracle," the piece highlights the exciting current uses of the technology and some of the revolutionary possibilities the future holds.
    Featured in the article are use of the InSightec ExAblate system by Dr. Suzanne LeBlange of University MRI in Boca Raton, the experiences of two patients being treated for uterine fibroids, and commentaries by Dr. Neal Kassell and Dr. Joy Polefrone of the FUS Foundation and Pat Robertson of CBN.

    This feature represents significant media exposure for focused ultrasound. The CBN is broadcast in 95 percent of US viewing markets and is seen daily by about 1 million viewers. In addition, 650,000 people view CBN's web site each month. The response of patients and clinicians to this feature has been overwhelming with scores calling and emailing for more information. The web site article and accompanying video can be seen on the CBN web site here

    Continue reading >

  • MR-guided Focused Ultrasound Treatment of Breast Cancer

    Kyoshi Namba M.D. (Breastopia Namba Hospital, Japan) presented a very comprehensive and optimistic review of the clinical trials investigating breast cancer treatment with MRgFUS. He started by applauding the remarkable progress in breast conserving treatments for breast cancer, and predicted that focused ultrasound would be the ultimate minimally invasive treatment which avoids scarring, a possibility which he, as a breast surgeon, is keen to embrace.

    Dr Namba described the importance of ongoing monitoring of disease using MRI during the pre-operative phase during which chemotherapy and radiation are utilized. The great benefit of the MRI modality is that it allows the rapid identification of non-responders and switching to other treatments. (References given: Lehman and Furusawa).

    Like MRI, focused ultrasound is seen as a conservative treatment as it does not use ionizing radiation and does not preclude other more aggressive therapy to follow. Since 2002 it has been studied as comparison to lumpectomy in breast cancer, and integrated into the breast healthcare system in his hospital in Japan. 

    Continue reading >

  • Society for Thermal Medicine Conference Summary – MR guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Stands Out

    Founded in 1986 by researchers in the area of thermal therapy, the Society for Thermal Medicine has facilitated a forum for discussion of research for more than 20 years. The Society’s 2009 Annual Meeting was held in Tucson, Arizona, on April 3–7, with a program jam-packed with presentations on research topics that included Targeted Drug Delivery and Liposomes, Thermal Effects on the Immune System and the Tumor Microenvironment, and even a full session on MRI-guided Focused Ultrasound. 

    Targeted Drug Delivery is a research area the Foundation has consistently predicted will have tremendous potential when coupled with Focused Ultrasound. In fact, we recently funded a research project to support work by Katherine Ferrara’s group at the University of California at Davis that aims to create and validate clinically relevant ultrasound-enhanced drug delivery. One of Dr. Ferrara’s colleagues, Dustin Kruse, PhD, presented related work at STM, and we look forward to seeing continued success from Ferrara’s lab, aided by Foundation resources.

    Continue reading >

  • Society of Thermal Medicine Meeting Detailed Report

    The Society for Thermal Medicine met in Tucson in early April, 2009.  There were numerous presentations of interest to those of us in Focused Ultrasound Surgery. On Saturday afternoon, April 4, there was a symposium devoted entirely to MRgFUS (Symposium III: New Developments in MR-Guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound).

    Continue reading >

  • See It Early, Treat It Early. MR Makes Waves for Prostate Cancer in Hawaii

    Prostate cancer: When will we have a reliable prostate cancer screening system for men, and when we do, how will we treat those many cases of early-stage prostate cancer that are detected? 

    Are we inching closer to a “ManoGram”? Rolf Taylor contemplates the current landscape – and the potential for increased research funding in the near future.

    1 in 6 men will face prostate cancer in their lifetime, and each year it will kill 28,000 men in the U.S. alone. But unlike breast cancer, for which outcomes have improved dramatically as a result of near universal mammograms and advances in treatment options, prostate cancer remains stubbornly under diagnosed. Patients with rising PSA levels who show signs of malignancy don’t want to risk doing nothing, but can’t be sure that they definitely need treatment. And surgery carries major risks including erectile dysfunction and incontinence. Many patients need a blood transfusion during surgery. 

    Continue reading >

  • FUSF Funds Targeted Drug Delivery Research Project

    "Creation and Validation of a Clinically‐relevant Ultrasound‐enhanced Drug Delivery Strategy"

    Katherine W. Ferrara, Ph.D., University of California, Davis

    Summary: The primary purpose of this study is to determine the exact protocol for maximizing ultrasound-enhanced accumulation of drug in tumor and surrounding tissue. The study will use a system which precisely quantifies full-body drug biodistribution to measure drug accumulation enhancement in relation to low-mechanical index ultrasound.  A separate system will precisely control the ultrasound parameters and the resulting heating. These methods will be combined to optimize the ultrasound dose, measure accumulation and distribution of drug, and to assess efficacy.  This in-vivo study will utilize liposomal cisplatin and PET imaging. The award is for $100,000, to commence Q2 2009.  

    To see more funded research projects, see here

    {sharethis}

    Continue reading >

  • 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).

    Continue reading >

  • FUSF Funds Brain Disorder Research Project

    “Treatment of Chronic Functional Brain Disorders using Transcranial MR-guided Focused Ultrasound”

    Daniel Jeanmonod, M.D., University Children’s Hospital, Zurich

    Continue reading >

  • FUSF Expands Its Research Advisory Committee

    The FUS Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of several highly-esteemed new members to its Research Advisory Committee (RAC).  The RAC reviews research funding applications and has approved several new awards during the the last two quarters. Details of this research will be announced soon.

    Continue reading >

  • FUSF Sponsors Landmark MRgFUS Brain Workshop

    The Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation and Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Virginia hosted a Brain Workshop for Magnetic Resonance guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery (MRgFUS) March 23-25, 2009 at a retreat in Chantilly, VA. The primary objective of the workshop was to develop a comprehensive R&D roadmap that would fast-track the use of this technology to treat a variety of brain disorders including benign and malignant tumors, Parkinson's disease and essential tremor, stroke, and epilepsy.

    Continue reading >

  • 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.

    Continue reading >

  • Speaking Up for Progress: A Tribute to the Honorable William J. Howell

    The Foundation is pleased to recognize the pivotal role of Former Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell in advancing the field of focused ultrasound.

    Continue reading >

  • November 2018 Research Roundup

    Have you read the new journal articles about using focused ultrasound to treat cardiac arrhythmias, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease? Recently published work by scientists from two focused ultrasound Centers of Excellence investigates a transesophageal application for cardiac ablation and describes the outcomes from preclinical studies that examine the effect of focused ultrasound on beta-amyloid in Alzheimer’s and on Lewy pathology in Parkinson's.

    Continue reading >

  • NaviFUS Launches Brain Tumor Clinical Trial in Taiwan

    Taiwan-based focused ultrasound manufacturer NaviFUS recently announced the start of its first clinical trial for glioblastoma. To date, three patients have been treated. Researchers at Chang Gung Memorial Hospitalare investigating focused ultrasound to induce opening of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in patients with glioblastoma using optically guided, neuronavigational technology. The safety and feasibility study uses the company's proprietary system to noninvasively treat these deadly cancers.

    Continue reading >

  • 4th Quarter Research Award 2018

    The Foundation’s External Awards Program has selected a new project for funding in the final quarter of 2018. Alan Verkman, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Physiology in the Department of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco, will conduct a study entitled, “Focused ultrasound for therapy of neuromyelitis optica – an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system.”

    Continue reading >

  • Register Now for Pediatric Focused Ultrasound Meeting in Toronto

    A team at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) is organizing a one-day event on Thursday, April 11, for researchers, physicists, and clinicians with an interest in the use of focused ultrasound therapy in pediatric patients.

    Continue reading >

  • In Memoriam: Foundation Council Member Tony Mendez

    The Foundation recently lost a good friend and a champion of focused ultrasound in Tony Mendez, retired CIA officer, author, and award-winning artist. Mendez passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.

    Continue reading >

  • J.P. Morgan Healthcare Week Highlights Shifts in the Commercialization of Care

    In January, Emily White, MD, FUS Partners Managing Director, traveled to San Francisco for the 37th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. Considered the largest event of the year related to healthcare and finance, the conference draws 9,000 attendees and more than 450 public and private companies.

    Continue reading >

  • Donor Profile: Sherry Sharp

    Sherry Sharp founded the Rick Sharp Alzheimer’s Foundation in memory of her husband and to bring a greater awareness to the need for research funding. Sharp serves on the board of directors of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and as an advisor to Sweet Monday Ministry.

    Continue reading >

  • Focused Ultrasound Study for Pets Funded by Petco Foundation, Blue Buffalo

    In a May 2 announcement, the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo pledged a portion of their $2.6 million annual fundraising campaign to Oklahoma State University’s Center of Veterinary Health Sciences Focused Ultrasound Treatment Program. Oklahoma State is one of several centers that participate in the Foundation’s Veterinary Program to fund clinical trials that enroll pets.

    Continue reading >

  • High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Used in Case of Previously Untreated Breast Cancer

    A case report from a patient in Germany who refused traditional breast cancer treatment and asked specifically for focused ultrasound has been published in Clinical Medical Reviews and Case Reports. Incredibly, the primary breast tumor went into complete remission and the involved axillary lymph node substantially decreased in size. Furthermore, some evidence indicated that a systemic, possibly immunologic, effect contributed to the success of the case.

    Continue reading >

  • FDA Publishes List of Priority Patient Preference Areas for Medical Devices

    Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes that patients can and should bring their own experiences to bear in helping inform the agency’s evaluation of medical devices over the total product lifecycle, the agency asks device manufacturers to include this type of input when submitting applications for FDA approval.

    Continue reading >

  • Focused Ultrasound for Essential Tremor Now Reimbursed in Japan

    Insightec recently announced that their Exablate Neuro treatment for essential tremor will now be reimbursed in Japan.

    Continue reading >

  • Foundation Goes Purple in Fight to End Alzheimer’s

    Worldwide, 50 million people are living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. As clinical trials advance and more data are gathered, focused ultrasound technology is gaining wider recognition for its potential to noninvasively, temporarily and safely open the blood-brain barrier to enable delivery of drugs or other neurotherapeutics to specific targets in the brain to effectively treat Alzheimer’s.

    Continue reading >

  • Focused Ultrasound Clinical Trial Begins to Treat Peripheral Vascular Disease

    International Cardio Corporation (ICC) recently announced the first-in-human use of focused ultrasound in an initial step to noninvasively treat plaques in peripheral arteries. The 15-patient Phase 1 trial is ongoing in the Netherlands, investigating the company’s SynthesizerTM device to thermally ablate and stabilize vulnerable and occlusive plaques.

    Continue reading >

  • Fellowship Update: Will Grissom, PhD

    Will Grissom, PhD, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, recently completed a year-long, remote-based research fellowship with the Foundation. He researched and developed new methods for measuring brain temperature during focused ultrasound treatments, resulting in the publication of two manuscripts and the completion of a collaborative multisite project. Read below to learn about the three projects wherein Dr. Grissom collaborated with Foundation scientists and focused ultrasound experts throughout the greater community to improve imaging used to guide focused ultrasound.

    Continue reading >

  • Meeting Report: AdvaMed’s MedTech Conference

    The 13th annual MedTech Conference, organized by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), was held September 23-25 in Boston. More than 3,000 attendees engaged in a variety of sessions highlighting how medical technology is “Improving Health Care. Improving Lives.”

    Continue reading >

  • CarThera Shares Data and Explains Novel Approach at EANO Meeting

    EANO 2019 BannerThe 14th annual meeting of the European Association of Neuro-Oncology (EANO) was held in Lyon, France, September 19-22, 2019. More than 800 participants from over 50 countries convened with the goal to improve the treatment of patients with various neurological malignancies.

    Continue reading >

  • Meeting Report: IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium 2019

    The 2019 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) took place October 6-9 in Glasgow, Scotland. The meeting brought together an international group of more than 1,500 representatives from academia and industry to exchange scientific ideas, collaborate on future projects, and learn about new products.

    Continue reading >

  • Meet Sivi: Essential Tremor Patient Steady Seven Years after Focused Ultrasound

    At just 20 years old, Sivi Krishnan noticed that his hands had begun shaking. It was manageable for decades before it suddenly worsened.

    “When I was 50, my essential tremor became unbearable. I couldn’t hold a glass of water. It was extremely embarrassing, especially when I had an important meeting at work. I couldn’t shake hands, and it was something that I thought about constantly. I even used alcohol to help ease the tremors on occasion.”

    Continue reading >

  • Five Sites Awarded Funding for Focused Ultrasound Research for Pain Management

    Five focused ultrasound research groups have received novel National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants to study using the technology for pain management in a wide variety of applications.

    Continue reading >

  • Foundation’s Chief Scientific Officer Presents on Focused Ultrasound for Pain Management

    The Foundation’s Chief Scientific Officer Jessica Foley, PhD, was an invited speaker at the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission Educational Conference in Richmond, Virginia, held on October 29, 2019.

    Continue reading >

  • Donor Profile: Tom Gentile

    Tom Gentile was named president and chief executive officer of Spirit AeroSystems in August 2016. Spirit is an $8 billion manufacturer of structures such as fuselages and wings for commercial and military aircraft.

    Continue reading >

  • Former Intern, Colleague Awarded Prestigious Chancellerie Prize

    Guillaume Maimbourg, PhD, and his colleague Charlotte Constans, PhD, have both received the “Prix de la Chancellerie des Universités de Paris,” a prestigious and highly selective award across all disciplines that is based on academic and scientific quality of a PhD thesis.

    Continue reading >

  • Meeting Report: 7th Emirates International Neurosurgical Conference

    The 7th Emirates International Neurosurgical Conferencetook place in Dubai, UAE, from December 12–14, 2019. The program included two focused ultrasound presentations by faculty from the University of Palermo in Sicily, Italy, providing two-year follow-up data on patients with essential tremor or Parkinson’s disease who underwent focused ultrasound treatment.

    Continue reading >

  • Take Action for AdvaMed: Thank Congress for Repealing the Medical Device Excise Tax

    The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) recently issued the following call-to-action: Thank Congress for repealing the medical device excise tax. It would be a powerful message if all two million medtech employees in the US reached out to Congress to thank them.

    Continue reading >

  • Donor Profile: W. Heywood Fralin

    W. Heywood Fralin is the chairman of Medical Facilities of America, which operates 40 skilled nursing facilities in Virginia and North Carolina. He is also co-chairman of Retirement Unlimited, which operates six assisted-living facilities in Virginia.

    Continue reading >

  • Alzheimer’s Disease: Preclinical Study Explores Impact of Focused Ultrasound

    Improvement of Glymphatic-lymphatic Drainage of Beta-amyloid by Focused Ultrasound in Alzheimer’s Disease Model

    Along with their nuclear medicine colleagues, the focused ultrasound and biomedical research teams at Seoul National University in Korea conducted preclinical studies to confirm the mechanism of action that decreases beta-amyloid plaque accumulation in a mice model of dementia after applying focused ultrasound plus microbubbles to open the blood-brain barrier. Their findings suggest that the glymphatic-lymphatic system drains, or clears, beta-amyloid from the brain to the cerebral spinal fluid to delay the progression of dementia. See the Confirmatory Results section of the bioRxiv Neuroscience preprint server >

    Continue reading >

  • Apply Now: Women in Cancer Immunotherapy Leadership Institute

    sitc log colorThe Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) will host two Women in Cancer Immunotherapy Network (WIN) Leadership Institutes this summer, July 13–14, in Seattle, and August 3–4, in Chicago. The programs, free to accepted applicants, are one-and-a-half-day education and networking events that seek to empower emerging female leaders in the cancer immunotherapy field.

    Interested applicants must apply by March 23, 2020.

    Learn More and Apply >

    Continue reading >

  • $16.7 Million Grant to Spur Focused Ultrasound Brain Research in Toronto

    Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has announced a new initiative to revolutionize the treatment of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, and brain cancer.

    Continue reading >

  • FDA Issues Guidance on Clinical Trials Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

    FDAlogo 300The global COVID-19 pandemic will likely impact current and planned clinical trials, including those using focused ultrasound. The guidance released by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges this likelihood and focuses on the safety of trial participants and medical staff while also maintaining compliance and good clinical practice. The considerations outline alternative methods of data collection, such as via phone or email, and additional safety monitoring.

    Read the Guidance >

    See Additional Relevant COVID-19 Resources >

    Continue reading >

  • Help Available for US Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

    The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) offers programs that may be of interest to US-based focused ultrasound companies. Working directly with state governors, the SBA is providing targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits in states that have been severely impacted by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

    Continue reading >

  • Patient Profile: Beverly McGowan, MS, FNP

    We met Beverly during her recent trip to Washington, DC to advocate for increased patient access to innovative treatments (see Patients and Physicians Advocate for Focused Ultrasound in Washington, DC). She is a 69-year-old family nurse practitioner in Western Montana whose essential tremor (ET) forced her to leave her beloved practice caring for American veterans.

    Continue reading >

  • Symposium to Include ISTU Special Session

    The Foundation and the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) are discussing alternative methods to present key data after the postponement of ISTU 2020. The two organizations are exploring ideas for a special session at the Foundation’s 7th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasoundin November, which would include research presented by the ISTU 2020 Annual Award Winners. 

    Continue reading >

  • Could Focused Ultrasound Help Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy?

    Vasomodulation of Peripheral Blood Flow by Focused Ultrasound Potentiates Improvement of Diabetic Neuropathy

    Continue reading >

  • Results Published: Focused Ultrasound as a Treatment for Facial Pain

    MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound Central Lateral Thalamotomy for Trigeminal Neuralgia. Single Center Experience

    Continue reading >

  • Meet Harrison: Teen’s Desmoid Tumor Cured by Focused Ultrasound

    By age 13, Harrison had been playing lacrosse for more than half of his life. The sport consumed the teenager’s free time, including weekends full of travel league tournaments and summers at elite sports camps. It was during a training session at camp in 2014 that Harrison noticed something was off.

    Continue reading >

  • Low-Intensity Focused Ultrasound for Cartilage Healing and Soft Tissue Pain

    Teams in Korea and China are conducting preclinical research on low-intensity focused ultrasound’s ability to help regenerate cartilage and relieve pain from soft tissue injuries.

    Continue reading >

  • Meeting Report: Pan Canada Neurotechnology Ethics Collaborative

    “From Talk to Action: Canadian Leadership Ethics and Neurotechnology” was the theme of the Pan Canada Neurotechnology Ethics Collaborative’s virtual workshop held June 8, 2020.

    Continue reading >

  • Master’s Student Completes Foundation-funded Thermometry Project

    One of the Foundation’s central values is to foster the next generation of researchers, and we are proud to announce that Yekaterina “Katya” Gilbo recently completed her work on a focused ultrasound thermometry project sponsored by the Foundation and earned her Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia.

    Continue reading >

  • SonALAsense Wins Brain Race Competition

    SonALAsense was recently named as one of 15 winners in a pool of 124 applicants in the Center for Advancing Innovation’s “Brain Race,” an open innovation contest to advance high-impact inventions and solutions to defeat brain tumors.

    Continue reading >

  • COVID-19 Research Project Delays

    The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is keenly aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in institutional and laboratory closures and unforeseen project delays of all types. We are committed to keeping focused ultrasound research moving forward with as little disruption as possible. On a case-by-case basis, we will assess research progress and consider no-cost extensions to your research agreement to facilitate completion of your project.

    If you are a Focused Ultrasound Foundation funded researcher, please reach out to your project manager to discuss your COVID-19 delays and requested project timeline extensions.

    Continue reading >

  • Opening the Blood-Brain Barrier After Whole-Brain Radiation Therapy

    Observed Effects of Whole-Brain Radiation Therapy on Focused Ultrasound Blood–Brain Barrier Disruption

    Nathan McDannold’s group at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School recently completed a study to determine whether prior brain irradiation affected outcomes when opening the blood-brain barrier (BBB) with focused ultrasound and microbubbles. This preclinical study in a mouse model tested whether BBB opening varied between brain tissue that was exposed to 3 grays of radiation for 10 consecutive days and non-irradiated tissue. The microbubble-assisted BBB opening was performed unilaterally so the contralateral side could serve as a control. Did prior radiation of the brain act as a sensitizer for BBB opening?

    See Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology>

    Continue reading >

  • Peter Gabriel Joins Foundation’s Council

    The Foundation is pleased to announce that Peter Gabriel has joined the Council, a passionate group of individuals often referred to as the “goodwill SWAT team.” The Council works closely with the Board of Directors and staff to provide advice and assist with raising funds for and building awareness of focused ultrasound.

    Continue reading >

  • Intern Update: Isabella Small

    The Foundation has a mission to foster the next generation. Isabella Small, a multi-year intern who became a part of our research team, has been accepted into a medical physiology graduate program at Case Western Reserve University. We interviewed Isabella to learn about her experiences at the Foundation and her plans for the future.

    Continue reading >

  • Scope of FUS Partners Program Expanded

    In June, the Foundation’s FUS Partners program received approval to expand the scope of the program’s activities. Started in April 2018, the program was initially created to systematize activities related to helping the focused ultrasound industry’s commercial sector become successful.

    Continue reading >

  • In Memoriam: Jane “Kitchie” Tolleson

    Dear Friends,

    We have lost a champion and a delightful, irrepressible friend with the passing of Jane “Kitchie” Tolleson (Foundation Council 2012-2020) on July 22, 2020.

    Continue reading >

  • Foundation Team Members Support “No Kid Hungry” Campaign

    In July, the Foundation team continued its internal giving campaign to support those impacted by our current global health crisis.

    Continue reading >

  • Meeting Report: International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) 2020

    ISMRM Conference logo 2020The Annual Meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM 2020)was held as a virtual conference and exhibition from August 8–14, 2020. This scientific and clinical meeting, which was held in conjunction with the Society of MR Radiographers & Technologists (SMRT), included nine focused ultrasound presentations and 24 posters.

    Continue reading >

  • A Cell-Specific Focused Ultrasound Neuromodulation Technique

    Targeted Neurostimulation in Mouse Brains with Non-invasive Ultrasound

    Continue reading >

  • Cyprus Veterinary Team Receives €1M Focused Ultrasound Grant

    Christakis Damianou, PhD, an electrical engineering professor at the Cyprus University of Technology, was recently awarded a €1 million grant to develop an MR-guided focused ultrasound system for use in dogs and cats. 

    Continue reading >

  • Claude Wasserstein Joins Foundation’s Council

    The Foundation is pleased to welcome Claude Wasserstein to its Council, a dedicated group of goodwill ambassadors who work closely with the Board of Directors and staff to provide advice and assist with raising funds and building awareness.

    Continue reading >

  • Focused Ultrasound for Spinal Cord Injury: Johns Hopkins Receives Funding for New Device

    In a recent press release, Johns Hopkins Medicine announced that a team of its neurosurgeons and biomedical engineers had received a $13.48 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop implantable focused ultrasound neuromodulation devices that can monitor blood flow and then administer treatment to prevent further damage in patients with a traumatic spinal cord injury.

    Continue reading >

  • One-Year Outcome Data Published for Glioblastoma Trial

    One-Year Outcome of Multiple Blood-Brain Barrier Disruptions with Temozolomide for the Treatment of Glioblastoma

    Continue reading >

  • 4th Quarter 2020 Research Award

    Brain Clinical Project: Cervical Dystonia Clinical Trial
    The Foundation’s Brain Clinical Programhas selected a new project to fund in the fourth quarter of 2020. Shiro Horisawa, MD, will use focused ultrasound to treat patients with cervical dystonia, a painful condition in which neck muscles contract uncontrollably. There is currently no cure for this debilitating condition.

    Continue reading >

The Focused Ultrasound Foundation Newsletter

Our newsletter delivers updates for clinicians, researchers and patients. Sign up and stay on top of the rapid advancements of this innovative medical technology.

Sign Up  Read the Latest Issue

Read The Tumor  by John Grisham

From John Grisham, comes a story where today’s medical fiction could become tomorrow’s lifesaving reality.

Download a Free eBook or Audiobook

Contact Details

Call Us
434.220.4993
Find Us
Focused Ultrasound Foundation
1230 Cedars Court, Suite 206 Charlottesville, VA 22903
Email
Whitelist Instructions