Ronit Machtinger, MD has completed a FUS Foundation-funded, two-year, part-time fellowship at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BMH) in Boston, MA, USA. Her fellowship mentors were Clare Tempany, MD and Fiona Fennessy, MD.

An Israeli gynecologist, Machtinger will return to Sheba Medical Center next summer, where she will resume her gynecology practice and continue her work in focused ultrasound. In the meantime, she is completing a research fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at BWH and is writing a book chapter with Fennessy about focused ultrasound treatment of uterine fibroids.

During her fellowship, Machtinger worked on two key research projects. The first investigated how to successfully treat uterine fibroid patients who have scar tissue from previous pelvic surgeries such as caesarean sections or myomectomies. “The focused ultrasound beam cannot pass safely through scar tissue. Rather, it can defocus and lead to local build-up of skin heat,” she explains.  With her BMH colleagues, she demonstrated that careful pre-treatment planning enables successful treatment of patients with pelvic scar tissue. Their case report was published this year in ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In the second project, Machtinger investigated whether focused ultrasound is a viable treatment option for African American women, a group in which uterine fibroids are most prevalent and severe. This group also has the highest rate of hysterectomies and complications. Analyzing data from two multi-center clinical trials, Machtinger and her colleagues found that, when appropriately selected for focused ultrasound treatment, African American women had the same overall clinical outcomes as other women.

As part of this second project, Machtinger studied the differences in screening failure rates between African American and other women.  “We showed that African American women were more likely to be screen failures than non-African American women,” she notes. “African Americans were significantly more likely to fail screening due to MRI findings which could interfere with safe delivery of treatment while non-African American women failed screening due to inadequate fibroid-associated symptoms compared to the African American population.”

Written by Ellen C., McKenna

Machtinger presented the results of the “screen failures” investigation in October 2010 at the 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound, where she was also honored as a Young Investigator Award recipient. Publication of the project’s complete findings is pending.

Related links:

FUS Foundation fellowship profile for Ronit Machtinger

Final Fellowship report –submitted by Ronit Machtinger in November 2011

Analyzing Screen Failures Prior to MRgFUS for Uterine Fibroids - Ronit Machtinger’s presentation at the 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound presentation (October 2010)

Publications:

Machtinger R, Tempany CM, Kanan Roddy A, Fennessy FM. Successful MRI-Guided Focused Ultrasound Uterine Fibroid Treatment Despite an Ostomy and Significant Abdominal Wall Scarring. ISRN Obstet Gynecol. 2011; 962621

Machtinger R., Fennessy F.M., Hourvitz M. Book Title: “Image-guided Cancer Therapy: A Multiple-disciplinary Approach” Chapter title: High Focused Ultrasound Treatment for Bone Metastases Chapter no. 47. Editors: William N. McMullen, Dr. Yuman Fong, Dr. Damian Dupuy, Dr. Chul S. Ha and Dr. Jordan Berlin with Associate Editors Dr. Ronnie Poon, Dr. David Lu and Dr. Ricardo Lencioni. Publishers: Springer in press.

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