On May 8th, the Image-Guided Non-Invasive Therapeutic Energy (IGNITE) Consortium met in Cincinnati to discuss using non-invasive therapies like focused ultrasound for treating pediatric diseases. Chief Medical Officer Suzanne LeBlang, MD, attended on behalf of the Foundation. The group’s first project is to create a treatment guidelines paper and international patient registry for osteoid osteoma. Initiating clinical trials for targeted drug delivery may be a future endeavor.

Ignite Meeting_Photo_edited“The meeting had so much enthusiasm for addressing the needs of the pediatric population,” said Dr. LeBlang. “Diseases like osteoid osteoma can be treated non-invasively with focused ultrasound with less risk for infection, bleeding, scarring, and fracture.” She added that, “pediatric malignancies are difficult to treat. The potential use of targeted drug delivery along with focused ultrasound could potentially increase the therapeutic benefit of certain drugs while minimizing side effects.”

IGNITE was launched in 2012 as a joint program between Dr. Brad Wood’s group at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. It expanded in 2013 to include:
  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  • University of Texas Southwestern
  • Texas Scottish Right Hospital for Children
  • University of Toronto
  • Hospital for Sick Children (Sickkids)
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of California San Francisco


Now Stanford University, Philips Healthcare, and others are getting involved. The participants have adopted an open and permissive innovation platform to develop more precise, less invasive image-guided procedures that use nonionizing radiation.

The IGNITE Consortium is supported by the National Capitol Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI), and patients in Canada and the US have already benefited from the endeavor. NCC-PDI’s 3rd Annual Pediatric Innovation Symposium will be held October 23, 2015 in Washington, DC.

RELATED STORY: Medical Research with Children 'Must be Encouraged' on BBC News 5/14/15

IGNITE Group

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