The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) are co-sponsoring a free conference on Methodological Challenges in Comparative Effectiveness Research.

“Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is increasingly important to the advancement of MR-guided focused ultrasound,” says Joy Polefrone, Ph.D., director of the Foundation’s FUS-Targeted Drug Delivery initiative. CER compares existing treatment options to determine which is most effective in different types of patients and circumstances. 

“Treatments for uterine fibroids – the first FDA-approved indication for MR-guided focused ultrasound – are already being addressed by an AHRQ stakeholder group. The group has developed protocol recommendations to address concerns about these treatments,” Polefrone notes. “Future applications of MR-guided focused ultrasound will undergo CER assessment in the U.S., making it important to understand this process and its impact on clinical use.”

Scheduled for December 2-3, the conference will be held at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.  It will address a variety of important questions about comparative effectiveness research that face U.S. researchers, care providers, health systems, and patients. In particular, the conference will explore a number of case studies challenging the kinds of research, methods and analyses that should be used to address limitations in current evidence for interventions and tests being examined by decision-making bodies


Topics include:

  • Comparative effectiveness of surgical and radiotherapy treatments for prostate cancer: Best methods for studying multilevel heterogeneous effects.
  • Comparative effectiveness of medical and surgical treatments for stable ischemic heart disease within subgroups of patients and in the face of rapidly evolving treatments.
  • Comparative effectiveness and costs of imaging strategies for diagnosing and monitoring patients with cancer.
  • Evaluation of two high-profile comparative drug safety cases: Aprotinin and Rosiglitazone.
  • Challenges of designing a “Learning Healthcare Systems” for Comparative Effectiveness Research. 


In addition to these case-based discussions, consumers, economists, methodologists, policymakers and statisticians will present two additional sessions:

  • Methods for Addressing Confounding in Observational Studies.
  • Value of Information Techniques for Setting Research Priorities.


The conference is free and requires advance registration. To register and for more information, visit:

Written by Ellen C., McKenna

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