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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.

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).

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. 

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