• Brigham Researchers Demonstrate Real-time Microbubble Monitoring for Transcranial Focused Ultrasound

    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.

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

    Patients from Across the Country Participating in Essential Tremor Trial

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

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  • Mike Cashman Joins Foundation Development Team

    Cashman Mike_smThe Foundation has recruited Mike Cashman as Co-Director of Development. Mike joins Pamela Minetti to expand the development effort and take the Foundation’s unique venture philanthropy model to new supporters, increase the reach of our message, and create novel partnerships with like-minded organizations. The addition of this position will further the Foundation’s efforts to accelerate the development of new applications of focused ultrasound and its widespread adoption as a standard of care.

    Prior to joining the Foundation, Mike was the Commanding Officer of the University of Virginia Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps and Professor of Naval Science, teaching leadership and ethics. He recently retired as a Captain with almost 29 years of service. “I am excited to join Pamela, Neal, and the team. I have seen how life-changing this technology is, and I can envision a day when it is a commonly accepted, noninvasive way to treat patients,” Mike said. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when it will be widely available to improve, and potentially save, countless lives.”

    Neal F. Kassell, MD, Founder and Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation added, “Mike will bring his proven ability to forge strong relationships built on trust to spread the message about focused ultrasound to those who have not heard it, especially those who have the capacity to really make a difference. He has a burning desire to help advance this technology in a tangible way and will be a great ambassador for our team.”

    Captain Cashman served as a helicopter pilot and commanded several squadrons all over the world, most notably the navy’s largest aviation wing located in Norfolk, Virginia. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maine and has earned two Master’s Degrees: one in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and one in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School.

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  • The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden Celebrate Opening of Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence in London

    The first clinical trial has begun at the new Focused Ultrasound Foundation Center of Excellence (COE) at the Institute of Cancer Research, London. This center is a public-private collaboration between the Foundation, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), Philips Healthcare, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to create a state-of-the-art resource for clinicians and scientists to develop clinical evidence and establish best practices, treatment standards, and protocols for the use of focused ultrasound to treat cancer.

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  • Foundation Chairman Publishes Articles on Future of Focused Ultrasound

    Neal F. Kassell, MD, Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, authored two recent articles on the future of the technology and what it might mean for the healthcare paradigm. 

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  • Swedish's Focused Ultrasound Brain Program Excels

    Institute now studying Essential Tremor, Parkinson's, and Tumors

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  • 2014 Summer Interns Contribute to Foundation Research

    In its third year, the Foundation’s summer internship program welcomed a record 12 students to collaborate with the Foundation staff. With so many hands on deck, many teamed up to tackle more complicated projects.

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  • Commentary: Putting the FDA Panel’s Feedback Into Perspective

    Last month, the FDA advisory panel made a highly unfortunate ruling that, based on data presented by EDAP, there is not reasonable assurance that the Ablatherm focused ultrasound device is safe and effective for the treatment of low risk localized prostate cancer. The device has been approved in Europe since 1999, and 40,000 patients around the world have been treated with the system to date.

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  • August 2014 Research Roundup

    Recent focused ultrasound research covers a variety of applications. In oncology, two interesting studies looked at pancreatic cancer (safety and a comprehensive case review), and one discovered improved outcomes for localized prostate cancer. Cavitation-induced thrombolysis work is gaining ground, and another group provides cost-effectiveness data for uterine fibroid ablation.

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  • Nanodroplets May Significantly Reduce Focused Ultrasound Procedure Times

    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.

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

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

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

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  • FDA Advisory Panel Votes Against Approval of Prostate Device

    The following article appeared on Medscape.com. View the original story here.

    A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel voted yesterday not to recommend approval of a high-focus ultrasound technology to treat low-risk prostate cancer with less erectile dysfunction.

    The technology, Ablatherm Integrated Imaging High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), has been used in other countries in 40,000 patients for 15 years. It would be the first device of its kind to be approved in the United States.

    But members of the Gastroenterology and Urology Panel of the FDA's Medical Devices Advisory Committee voiced a range of concerns about lack of data available from the technology sponsor's research results that were presented as part of its US premarket approval (PMA) application. HIFU is marketed in Europe by EDAP TMS, a French company operating in the United States as EDAP Technology.

    The company is seeking premarket approval for HIFU as indicated for primary treatment of individuals with low-risk, localized prostate cancer.

    In the end, a majority of panel members voted no to the question regarding a reasonable assurance that the treatment is safe. Panel members voted unanimously against reasonable assurance that it is effective.

    HIFU is a robotic technology that consists of a treatment module that connects a control console to an endorectal probe device. After a patient is anesthetized, aurologist robotically controls the probe for insertion into the rectum, and the device delivers ultrasonic energy to a focused portion of the prostate.

    High-intensity waves from an ultrasound imaging transducer in the probe generates intensive heat (85° - 95° C) and causes ablation of cancerous tissue while preserving the apex, sphincter, and rectum, with a lower rate of erectile dysfunction.

    Rocky Path

    A rocky regulatory path developed almost from the start, however, for HIFU in the United States. A nonrandomized trial intended to be a pivotal study that began in 2006 to test HIFU against cryotherapy terminated in 2010 because of the company's inability to enroll enough patients, particularly for cryotherapy.
    EDAP then conducted a meta-analysis of HIFU and cryotherapy results in the medical literature, plus a review of comparisons of a European HIFU registry with surgery in the US Veterans Administration study Prostate Cancer Intervention vs Observation Trial (PIVOT).

    EDAP presenters at the hearing said the "body of evidence" supports the approval of HIFU in the United States. They said that the benefits of a noninvasive, localized therapy with precise energy delivery outweigh the risks for urinary obstructive morbidity and that side effects from HIFU treatment are "not dissimilar" to those of other prostate cancer treatments, including radiation therapy.

    FDA presenters, however, went through EDAP's submission documents point by point, citing deficiencies, such as lack of information and potential safety concerns, including a 28% cumulative positive biopsy rate 2 years after HIFU treatment among individuals in the nonrandomized trial.

    Regarding the lack of information, Johathon P. Jarow, MD, of the FDA's Office of Hematology and Oncology Products, said, "Absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence," and that it was not clear whether HIFU treatment is better than doing nothing for the low-risk patients.

    Unclear Effectiveness

    The treatment does have its supporters, though. In the public hearing portion of the meeting, Pascal Rischmann, MD, professor and chair of urology, andrology, and renal transplant at Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France, said that the treatment is safe and effective, that it preserves erectile function in more than 90% of patients through nerve sparing, and that it is cost- effective. He said he has used HIFU in more than 350 patients between 2006 and 2014.

    Prostate cancer survivors also recommended approval during the public hearing.

    Inderbir Gill, MD, chair of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Institute of Urology, and a monitor of the HIFU trial, told panel members that HIFU is certaintly not perfect but that all ablation technologies have similar biopsy rates.

    "It's about patient choice," he said. He pointed out that HIFU has a track record of 40,000 patients during a 15-year period and that it has never been suspended or taken off the market.

    But the FDA officials maintained that the benefit of HIFU is unclear and that the risk is substantial, although they acknowledged that EDAP's efforts had been constrained by practical difficulties associated with conducting trials for prostate cancer.

    Stephen R. Kraus, MD, of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and a temporary voting member, said he was concerned about the "murkiness" of the data, or "trying to use other trials to make up for the lack of recruitment. Murkiness is the absolute reason we need a controlled trial."

    Consumer representative Mildred D. Fennal, PhD, RN, of the International Nurses Education Consortium in Tallahassee, Florida, said, "If anything, it sounds like they're trying to save all the work that's been done" and that maybe they should have reorganized early on and tried something else.

    The advisory committee members have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.


    View EDAP's official press release. Documents provided at the meeting will soon be available as well on their website

    View more coverage from Bloomberg.

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  • Richard Merkin Visiting Fellowship in Focused Ultrasound

    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, .

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  • Foundation’s Unique Partnership Showcased

    The Foundation’s chairman, Dr. Neal F. Kassell, delivered the keynote speech at the BIRD (United States-Israel Binational Industry Research & Development) Foundation’s Reception at the United States Chamber of Commerce on June 25. Addressing a room of decision makers from Washington and Israel, Kassell shared the story of focused ultrasound technology in neuroscience and next steps for essential tremor research.

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  • 40 Years of Focused Ultrasound: Pioneer Shares Wisdom with Foundation and UVA

    Focused ultrasound technology pioneer and entrepreneur Naren Sanghvi, PhD visited the University of Virginia (UVA) and the Foundation on July 8th to discuss prostate cancer treatment and the future of the field.

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  • Preclinical Research Demonstrates Potential for Treating Epilepsy

    Results of preclinical studies conducted by the Foundation in collaboration with researchers at the University of Virginia and the Swedish Neuroscience Institute demonstrate that it may be feasible to treat certain types of epilepsy noninvasively with focused ultrasound (FUS). Investigators assessed the ability of FUS to reach and ablate the targets for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy and hypothalamic hamartoma utilizing cadavers and skulls filled with gel to mimic the brain. Further technical development is needed to reduce treatment time and the potential for skull heating.

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  • Research Roundup

    Important advances in the field of FUS have been plentiful this month—so much so that we could not pick one or two to feature. Instead, we include a roundup of recently published research on these topics:

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  • 2nd Quarter Research Awards: Four New Studies Funded

    The Foundation’s External Awards Program is pleased to announce that it has funded four new projects for the 2nd quarter of 2014. The topics are varied across several indications and include:

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  • FORTUNE Publishes Focused Ultrasound Double Feature

    FORTUNE has published two fantastic articles about the potential of focused ultrasound.  

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  • Workshop Participants Create Neuromodulation Roadmap, Set Sights on Clinical Use

    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.

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  • UCLA Researchers Investigate the Use of Neuromodulation to Treat Epilepsy

    Can neuromodulation reduce the excitability of neurons and therefore reduce seizures in epilepsy patients? That is the question that scientists at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Semel Institute are asking.

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  • Worldwide Neuromodulation Research

    While UCLA is starting a clinical trial with FUS-induced neuromodulation, the field is growing, with at least 16 centers around the world active in laboratory research. These investigators are advancing the field on several fronts -- from clinical targeting to neurodiagnostics to treating pain and psychiatric disorders.

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  • Clinical Research Prize Encourages Progress

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

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  • New Scientist Highlights Blood Brain Barrier Research

    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. 

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  • UVA and Johns Hopkins Partner to Improve Brain Cancer Treatment

    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.

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  • Company Profile: Theraclion

    Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Theraclion is a French focused ultrasound company that currently specializes in treating benign breast tumors and thyroid nodules. Their Echopulse system is approved in Europe and available to patients in France, Italy, and Germany. With the start of their first U.S. clinical trial and the recent news that the company has become publicly traded, we interviewed Chief Technology Officer Sylvain Yon, PhD, to discover more about the company’s accomplishments, status, and future direction. Sneak peak: Their ultimate goal is to noninvasively treat every kind of tumor. 

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  • Update from California Brain Tumor Patient

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

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  • Focal Prostate Cancer Study Begins at City of Hope

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

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

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  • Focused Ultrasound Featured at Society for Thermal Medicine Meeting

    At the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society for Thermal Medicine (STM) on May 9th in Minneapolis, the Foundation’s Scientific Director, Jessica Foley, PhD, reviewed recent advances of focused ultrasound (FUS) therapy in oncology, the current global adoption and development landscape, and the Foundation’s strategy for advancing this field. A particular area of interest at the meeting was the use of hyperthermia – including FUS ablation – to induce an enhanced immune response for more effective treatment of cancer.

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  • Reimbursement Summit Attendees Create Action Plan for Fibroids and Bone Pain Palliation

    In an example of the power of collaboration, the Foundation hosted a Reimbursement Summit on May 13th in Charlottesville. The more than 20 attendees included professionals from Philips Healthcare, InSightec, EDAP-TMS, and reimbursement consulting firm ADVI. The group attained their primary objective to develop an integrated action plan to obtain U.S. reimbursement for focused ultrasound treatment of uterine fibroids and palliation of painful bone metastases.

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  • Carl Zeithaml, Dean of UVA’s McIntire School, Elected to Board of Focused Ultrasound Foundation

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (May 13, 2014) – Carl Zeithaml, Dean of UVA’s McIntire School of Commerce has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation.

    “I love innovation and big, ambitious ideas that are designed to help people and make the world a significantly better place,” said Dean Zeithaml. “The efforts of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation certainly qualify on all dimensions. Based on results to date, the potential is enormous. I am very excited to lend my time and expertise and to connect the Foundation with my network to spread interest in their visionary work.”

    “We are honored to welcome Dean Zeithaml to our Board of Directors,” said Neal F. Kassell, M.D., chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “With his expertise in healthcare and global strategic management, he will provide invaluable insight as the Foundation works to advance focused ultrasound therapies in the U.S. and around the globe.”

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  • Vanderbilt’s Grissom Receives External Research Award To Improve Brain Temperature Imaging

    Will Grissom, PhD, from the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering has been awarded the first External Research Award of 2014 for his project titled “MR Temperature Imaging Toolbox for Focused Ultrasound Neurosurgery.” This project aims to develop brain temperature imaging sequences and processing algorithms that directly address the current shortcomings of MR thermometry at each stage of therapy.

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  • Program to Enable Focused Ultrasound to Treat a Moving Internal Organ Begins in Europe

    A European collaborative group has begun a translational research project to develop a clinical focused ultrasound system that would enable the treatment of a moving internal organ, such as the liver. The TRANS-FUSIMO (Clinical Translation of the Focused Ultrasound in Moving Objects) projectbuilds on an earlier collaboration (FUSIMO) between 11 European countries that created simulation software.

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  • Northern Virginia Event Draws Crowd of Potential Supporters

    On April 1st, more than 100 members of the medical and research community and friends gathered at the Washington Golf and Country Club in Arlington to learn about the medical advances being achieved with the help of the Foundation. Hosts Barbara and Rick Frisbie invited the group to learn about how focused ultrasound is changing the way that medicine is practiced and how our work is gaining support and attention from patients, clinicians, and others.

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  • Foundation Council Welcomes Meredith Woo and Charles F. Bryan, Jr.

    We are pleased to announce that two new members have joined The Foundation Council: the Dean of the University of Virginia’s (UVA) College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Meredith Jung-En Woo, and Dr. Charles F. Bryan, Jr., a distinguished historian and past CEO of the Virginia Historical Society (VHS).

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  • Chinese Expert in Focused Ultrasound Visits Foundation, UVA

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

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

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  • Company Profile: HistoSonics

    HistoSonics, Inc. is a Michigan-based company that is using the non-thermal histotripsy mechanism of focused ultrasound to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Although BPH causes an enlarged prostate, it does not lead to cancer-the unwanted cells need to be removed when they cause irritation or obstruction. VortxRX is the company's investigational, image-guided, system for treating BPH. A pilot clinical trial is currently underway in North America to test the system’s safety and initial effectiveness.

    Q&A With HistoSonics Chairman & CEO Tom Davison, PhD

    Q. How did you get involved in starting HistoSonics?

    I was introduced to the University of Michigan (UM) Department of Tech Transfer in late 2007. UM asked me to help evaluate several medical device technologies in their patent portfolio, including histotripsy. Because of my experience in therapeutic ultrasound businesses (UltraCision and Sontra), UM asked me to review the histotripsy program to determine whether it should be licensed or had the potential to support a stand-alone business. At the completion of the consulting assignment, I acquired an option to license the histotripsy technology and intellectual property. After several years of planning, HistoSonics was founded in December 2009.

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  • Washington-Russian Collaboration Sends Shock Waves Through Focused Ultrasound

    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.

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  • International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound 14th Annual Symposium Highlights Latest Advances in Non-Invasive Focused Ultrasound Technology

    ISTU Release Photos mdApril 15, 2014 -- Charlottesville, VA – Presentations at the recent symposium of The International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) demonstrate an increasing body of data supporting the potential of focused ultrasound to transform the treatment of a wide range of diseases. This early-stage, non-invasive technology could be a cost-effective alternative or adjunct to traditional surgery, radiation therapy, and drug delivery to treat conditions such as brain tumors, movement disorders, prostate cancer, and soft tissue tumors. Currently approved in the U.S. for the treatment of uterine fibroids and painful bone metastases, many healthcare experts consider focused ultrasound a disruptive technology to watch.

    “Focused ultrasound is increasingly being considered a game-changing technology,” said Kim Butts Pauly, Ph.D., ISTU 2014 Committee Chair and Professor of Radiology, Stanford University School of Medicine. “We are excited to host researchers from many disciplines around the world -- including medical physics, engineering, biomedical science, radiology, oncology, and neurosurgery -- to share significant pre-clinical and clinical progress being made with focused ultrasound.”

    Promising Data Expands the Frontiers of Focused Ultrasound

    The range and depth of scientific presentations at the 2014 ISTU meeting demonstrate the broad applicability of this platform technology to produce multiple biological mechanisms. Focused ultrasound can have therapeutic effect both directly by ablating unhealthy tissue or dissolving blood clots and indirectly, such as by opening up the blood-brain barrier to allow the delivery of therapeutic agents.

    “It is critical that the next phase of innovation in focused ultrasound optimizes the potential to treat the most urgent medical needs that will benefit the greatest number of patients,” said Neal F. Kassell, chairman of The Focused Ultrasound Foundation, a major sponsor of the conference. “One revolutionary approach involves using the technology to non-invasively treat problem areas deep in the brain, while bypassing healthy brain tissue and preserving normal functions. The successes in movement disorders point to a very promising future for this powerful tool.”

    Presentation Highlights

    Several new clinical studies were presented at the symposium, including the following highlights:

    Uterine Fibroids

    In-Office Rapid Volumetric Ablation of Uterine Fibroids Under Ultrasound Imaging Guidance: Preclinical And Early Clinical Experience With The Mirabilis Trans-Abdominal HIFU Treatment System

    Jessica Parsons, Ph.D., Clinical Science Manager at Mirabilis Medica, Inc. presented results of a single-arm pilot study of 37 women treated with their experimental focused ultrasound system prior to hysterectomy. The treatment was delivered using ultrasound imaging guidance with no skin burns or collateral tissue injury. No anesthesia or sedation was required in a large majority of patients. The average total treatment time was 4.9 minutes. This dramatically shorter treatment time was achieved using a shell ablation technique, which involves focusing the ultrasound energy on the outer surface of the target volume to allow thermal and ischemic effects to work in concert. The average non-perfused volume created in the study ranged between 0.6 and 51.3 cc, depending on the treatment parameters used.

    Clinical Application of High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Ablation in Gynecology: Safety Analysis

    Lian Zhang, M.D., of Chongqing Medical University in China presented a seven-year study evaluating the safety of focused ultrasound treatment of more than 10,000 patients with uterine fibroids or adenomyosis at 10 centers in China. The treatments were very effective, with an average of 80% non-perfused fibroid volume achieved. The treatments were safe, with 13.15% of patients experiencing anticipated minor side effects immediately after the procedure (abnormal vaginal secretion, lower abdominal pain, transient leg or buttock pain, dysuria, vomiting, uterine bleeding, urinary retention or fever). Longer-term side effects (skin blisters, leg or buttock pain, and uterine bleeding) occurred in 0.12%. Major complications, which have previously led to substantial morbidity and disability, did not occur in this study.

    Soft Tissue Tumors

    Treatment of Extra-Abdominal Desmoid Tumors Using MR-Guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound: Preliminary Results after Five Patients

    Pejman Ghanouni, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University, shared his experience treating 5 patients with desmoid tumors, rare aggressive benign growths that affect young adults. Five patients with a median age of 17 years were treated. The average treatment time was 4 hours 39 minutes, and no serious adverse events occurred. Complications of the procedures included a small blister, muscle ablation, and acute biochemical pancreatitis that was asymptomatic and self-resolving. Focused ultrasound seems promising for achieving local control of tumor growth with an average of 63% of the tumors ablated after one or two treatments. The procedure was associated with few adverse events compared to surgery or radiation, and it can be repeated without toxicity to normal tissue.

    Bone Pain

    Osteoid Osteoma: Magnetic Resonance Guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound for Entirely Non-Invasive Treatment. A Prospective Developmental Study.

    Alessandro Napoli, M.D., Sapienza University of Rome, presented results of a study treating 15 patients with osteoid osteoma, a rare benign tumor causing localized bone pain that affects young adults. The patients were treated with MR-guided focused ultrasound and followed up at 1, 6, and 12 months post-treatment. There were no treatment-related complications. A statistically significant difference was noted between the overall pre- and post-treatment visual analogue scores for pain (8.3 and .6 respectively).

    Focused ultrasound is a revolutionary, early-stage therapeutic technology with the potential to transform the treatment of many serious medical disorders. This breakthrough technology uses ultrasonic energy guided by magnetic resonance or ultrasound imaging to treat tissue deep in the body without incisions or radiation. Multiple intersecting beams of ultrasound are directed and concentrated on a target as small as a grain of rice, much like a magnifying glass can focus multiple beams of light on a single point.
    Focused ultrasound is currently approved in the U.S. to treat uterine fibroids and painful bone metastases, and there are a growing number of clinical applications in various stages of research and development around the world, including Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, neuropathic pain, breast and prostate cancer, and brain tumors.

    The International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 to increase and diffuse knowledge of therapeutic ultrasound to the scientific and medical communities, and to facilitate the translation of therapeutic ultrasound techniques into the clinical arena for the benefit of patients worldwide.

    The Focused Ultrasound Foundation was created to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide by accelerating the development and adoption of focused ultrasound therapies. The Foundation works to clear the path to global adoption by coordinating and funding research, fostering collaboration among stakeholders, and building awareness of the technology among patients and professionals. The Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that focused ultrasound finds its place as a mainstream therapy for a range of conditions within years, not decades. Since its establishment in 2006, the Foundation has become the largest non-governmental source of funding for focused ultrasound research. More information about the Charlottesville, Virginia-based Foundation can be found at www.fusfoundation.org.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Clinical Trial for Breast Fibroadenoma Gains FDA Approval

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

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

    Read the release. 

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  • U.S. Senator Mark Warner Visits Focused Ultrasound Center and Foundation

    Virginia Senator Mark Warner vowed that he would go back to the Capital recharged to advocate for focused ultrasound after touring the UVA Focused Ultrasound Center and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation on March 19.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Featured at European Congress of Radiology

    Radiologists from around the world gathered in Vienna this month for the 2014 European Congress of Radiology. Dr. Wadyslaw Gedroyc chaired a special focus session called “Treatment with MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound.” The session included a technology overview, a description of the technique, an update on treatment for uterine fibroids and adenomyosis, and an introduction to applications for transcranial ultrasound. A panel discussion entitled, “How can this technology be spread more widely?” rounded out the 90-minute program.

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  • Workshop Identifies Multiple Opportunities for Neuromodulation

    The Focused Ultrasound Foundation organized and hosted a workshop on March 3-4 in Charlottesville, Virginia, to discuss the state of the art, current challenges, and future research directions for using focused ultrasound to induce neuromodulation – the stimulation or blocking of neuronal activity in targeted areas of the brain.

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  • Medical Device Innovator to Deliver Keynote Address at Focused Ultrasound Symposium

    March 18, 2014 – Charlottesville, VA – Frederic Moll, M.D., a serial medical device entrepreneur, will kick off the 4th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound in October 2014 with a keynote presentation titled, “Developing a New, Disruptive Therapeutic Modality: From Laboratory Research Tool to Standard of Care.” Dr. Moll will share insights from his experience founding Intuitive Surgical, including his vision behind the technology, overcoming barriers to adoption and lessons for focused ultrasound.     

    “Focused ultrasound has incredible potential to change the treatment paradigm for many serious medical conditions,” said Dr. Moll.  “But like many disruptive technologies, success is contingent upon navigating the interests of many stakeholders. I am happy to collaborate with the Focused Ultrasound Foundation in its mission to advance this technology by providing guidance to the leaders in the field.” 

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  • Medical Device Innovator to Deliver Keynote Address at Focused Ultrasound Symposium

    March 18, 2014 – Charlottesville, VA – Frederic Moll, M.D., a serial medical device entrepreneur, will kick off the 4th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound in October 2014 with a keynote presentation titled, “Developing a New, Disruptive Therapeutic Modality: From Laboratory Research Tool to Standard of Care.” Dr. Moll will share insights from his experience founding Intuitive Surgical, including his vision behind the technology, overcoming barriers to adoption and lessons for focused ultrasound.

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

    Speakers at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) Annual Meeting in Vienna, Austria, lauded the potential for Focused Ultrasound to be one of the most important treatment options on the horizon. 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.

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  • Foundation-authored JTU Article Highlighted

    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.

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  • Stanford Recruiting Patients in Soft Tissue Tumor Study

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

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  • Foundation Council Welcomes Tony and Jonna Mendez

    The Foundation’s Council is now under increased “surveillance” with the addition of retired Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers Jonna and Tony Mendez. Together the couple has more than 50 years of service to the United States, and both are decorated heroes. Tony is also an author and award-winning painter; Jonna is a fine art photographer, a consultant/lecturer, and an author. ARGO, one of Tony’s autobiographical books, became an Academy Award-winning movie.

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  • New Website Is Global Resource for the Field

    An updated look and enhanced functionality are the key features of the Foundation’s new website

    • Audience-specific content. Are you a patient, a researcher, or a clinician? We now have a home page especially for you. Find the information that you are seeking quickly and easily.

    We are excited to offer the most advanced and comprehensive resource for the focused ultrasound community all in one place! Forward any page to a patient, friend, or colleague!

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

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

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

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  • Focused Ultrasound Makes Cover of DOTmed HealthCare Business News

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

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  • Parkinson's Dyskinesia Study Begins

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

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

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

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  • In Memoriam: Edgar M. Bronfman, Charter Member of FUSF Council

    The Focused Ultrasound Foundation lost a dear friend, ardent supporter, and charter Council Member with the death of Edgar M. Bronfman on December 21, 2013. In addition to his philanthropic support, Mr. Bronfman generously supported the Foundation with his time and his extensive and brilliant business acumen. He will be dearly missed.

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Dr. Jeff Elias’s TEDx Talk Available Online

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


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

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

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

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  • Focused Ultrasound Breast Research - December 2013 Update

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

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  • Focused Ultrasound Featured at RSNA 2013

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

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  • Fourth Quarter Research Awards

    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.

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  • Foundation Featured in Philanthropy Journal

    The Philanthropy Journal, an online site that publishes news on fundraising, innovation, and technology in the philanthropic community, recently featured an article by the Foundation on our model to accelerate adoption of medical technology.

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  • BBC Reports on Focused Ultrasound Parkinsonian Tremor Treatment

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

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  • Promising Results in FUS Breast Cancer Study

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

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  • Radiology Today Features MR Guided Focused Ultrasound

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

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  • Company Profile: Kona Medical

    Kona Medical, Inc. is pioneering the use of focused ultrasound (FUS) to noninvasively treat hypertension through ablation of the renal nerves. Renal nerves are located near the renal arteries supplying blood to the kidneys and can play a significant role in regulating blood pressure. Recent clinical data have shown that ablation of renal nerves can result in profound and lasting reduction in hypertension in patients whose blood pressure is not adequately controlled by medication.

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  • FUSF Brain Workshop: White Paper Available Online

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

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  • American Society For Radiation Oncology: 2013 Annual Meeting Highlights

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

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

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  • Kona Medical’s Focused Ultrasound System Treats Hypertension

    Kona Medical’s two ongoing WAVE studies demonstrated the ability of focused ultrasound to noninvasively reduce blood pressure in patients with drug-resistant hypertension. Renal nerve ablation with their focused ultrasound—based Surround Sound™ Renal Denervation System produced clinically significant drops in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. For the combined studies, 73% of patients experienced a clinically significant drop in systolic blood pressure of 10 mmHg or more at three months and 81% at six months with no device-related serious adverse events. As impressive as the drop in blood pressure, the WAVE II study also uses a dosing pattern that reduced therapy time from 13 minutes to 3 minutes.

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  • InSightec Names New President, CCO

    InSightec Ltd, a leader in MRI guided Focused Ultrasound therapy, has announced that Robert Sigal, MD, PhD, has taken over the role of President and Chief Commercial Officer. He will be responsible for all the commercial aspects of InSightec, reporting to Dr. Kobi Vortman, CEO and Founder of InSightec Ltd.

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

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

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  • Ellen H. Block Joins Council

    The Foundation is pleased to announce that Ellen H. Block has joined our Council. Members of the Foundation Council serve as goodwill ambassadors, advance our message, and connect us to other people who should hear our story. Ellen is a registered occupational therapist, small business owner, and an active philanthropist from Palm Beach, Florida. She is engaged in a wide range of societal and community-related issues locally, nationally, and globally.

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  • Experts Share Latest Advances at Rome Symposium

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

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

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  • Two Focused Ultrasound Companies Recognized for Innovation

    As a true testament to the potential of focused ultrasound to change medicine, TWO out of 15 companies selected by Fierce Medical for their top 15 innovators of the year are focused ultrasound companies: InSightec and Kona Medical.

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  • BBC Features Parkinsonian Tremor Treatment

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

    Continue reading >

  • University of Utah Awarded $2.5M from NCI to Develop Treatment for Breast Cancer

    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.

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  • First Patient Treated in Essential Tremor Pivotal Trial

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

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

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  • UVA Symposium Spurs Collaboration

    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.

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  • Merkin Fellowship Position Open

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

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

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  • Experts Discuss Research Direction at Blood-Brain Barrier Workshop

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

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

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

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

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  • Ultrasound: The Go-to Treatment for Functional Brain Disorders?

    An article in Dotmed daily news, an online site which follows medical devices and the industry, featured this story on the use of focused ultrasound to treat brain disorders like essential tremor, OCD, and Parkinson's disease: 

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

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

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  • FUSF Establishes Center of Excellence in London

    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.

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  • Focused Ultrasound Research Published in New England Journal of Medicine

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

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

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  • TED Talks - Focused Ultrasound for Brain Lesions




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  • Special Report Issued on Therapeutic Ultrasound

    Good overview article about some of the many applications of therapuetic ultrasound from Dotmed.com Daily News, an online journal about medical devices and technology.

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  • ISTU Meeting Gave Added Emphasis to Clinical Studies

    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.

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  • Announcing Our 2013 Research Award Recipient – Craig Meyer, PhD

    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.

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  • Pamela Minetti Joins Focused Ultrasound Foundation as Director of Development

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (June 20, 2013) – The Focused Ultrasound Foundation has hired Pamela Minetti as Director of Development.  Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Minetti was a leading member of the financial services and technology practices at Boyden Global Executive Search in New York.

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

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

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  • Focused Ultrasound Foundation Awarded $600,000 Grant from Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

    Grant Will Fund Study to Evaluate Focused Ultrasound for Treatment of Dyskinesia in Parkinson’s Disease

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – (June 18, 2013) – The Focused Ultrasound Foundation (FUSF) has been awarded a $600,000 grant by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) to help fund a pilot study to determine the feasibility, safety and preliminary efficacy of magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound for the treatment of dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease (PD).

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  • Study Reports Significant Bone Mets Pain Relief Using Focused Ultrasound

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

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

    Ultrasound Symposium Agenda - Tuesday, August 6

    Session 1: Clinical Delivery and Advanced Novel Technologies/Strategies

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

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

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

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

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

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  • American Urologists Show Strong Interest in HIFU

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

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  • Canadian Study Assessing Thermal Ultrasound Treatment for Prostate Cancer

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

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

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

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

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  • Stakeholder Groups Attend Foundation Awareness Event

    On May 6, the Focused Ultrasound Foundation hosted an awareness-building event near its headquarters in Charlottesville. Attendees included the Foundation’s Board of Directors, Council and staff as well as focused ultrasound clinicians, researchers, patients, donors and supporters.

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