April 2018 - First Parkinson's Patient Treated in Pivotal Trial and More…

April 2018
April is Parkinson's Awareness Month

First Patient Treated in Parkinson’s Disease Pivotal Trial


The first patient in a multicenter pivotal trial using focused ultrasound to address the major symptoms of Parkinson’s disease has been treated at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian in New York. This randomized, double-blind clinical trial is evaluating the safety and efficacy of using Insightec’s Exablate Neuro device in more than 100 patients with advanced and medication-refractory Parkinson’s disease. 

Patients are also currently being enrolled at the University of Maryland Medical Center and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Additional sites are expected to join. 

 Foundation News

Foundation Launches New FUS Partners Program

This month, the Foundation launched FUS Partners, a new program aimed at fostering relationships among focused ultrasound community members seeking assistance with financing, partnerships, technology transfer, and/or academic research opportunities. The program is intended to formalize the Foundation's efforts related to connecting the focused ultrasound start-up community with investors and collaborators around the world.


Foundation Partners with Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance

The Foundation has announced a partnership with the Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA) to raise awareness of focused ultrasound among policymakers and medical specialty societies. “This partnership enables us to demonstrate focused ultrasound's potential to a wider group of decision makers,” said Foundation Chief Scientific Officer Jessica Foley, PhD. “Our Working Group is eager to advocate for common goals related to commercialization and advance the field towards clinical adoption.” Mark Carol, CEO and president of Sonacare, will chair the Focused Ultrasound Working Group.


FUS Symposium 2018: Call for Abstracts

Abstract submission is now open for the 6th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound, to be held October 21-25 in Reston, Virginia. 

The Foundation welcomes abstracts related to the use of image-guided focused ultrasound in preclinical research, clinical research, or technology development. A detailed list of topics of interest is available on the website. Please review the guidelines before submitting your abstract, and all abstracts must be submitted online before June 18.


FUS Symposium 2018: Award Opportunities

Ferenc Jolesz Memorial Award 
To recognize the legacy of a world-class visionary and pioneer of focused ultrasound, this award encourages an innovative spirit in mid-career researchers and clinicians. The recipient will present at the Symposium, earn up to $5,000 toward registration and travel, and receive a $5,000 cash award.

Young Investigator Awards
Graduate students, research fellows, clinical fellows, and junior faculty are eligible to apply for these awards, which include complimentary registration and up to $2,000 for travel expenses. 


Watch Now: Blockchain for Healthcare Webinar

Blockchains are a brilliant application of cryptography used to construct distributed, immutable records; but it’s hard to separate the hype from the opportunity. Optum’s Distinguished Engineer, Rick Hamilton, led a webinar entitled “Blockchain: A Healthcare-Focused Introduction” that provided a (mostly) non-mathematical introduction to blockchain operation and healthcare-centered use cases. The webinar was broadcast via Facebook Live, and the recording has more than 250 views.


Lockhart Memorial Prize Offered for Second Year


Applications are now being accepted for this annual $75,000 cash award established in memory of Andrew Lockhart. The award is given to an investigator who demonstrates outstanding potential to contribute to advancing cancer treatment using focused ultrasound. In 2017, the prize was awarded to the University of Virginia’s Richard Price, PhD


Focused Ultrasound Featured at CIBR Event on Capitol Hill


For the second consecutive year, focused ultrasound was featured as part of the Academy for Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research's Annual Medical Imaging Technology Showcase in Washington, DC. 

The Foundation’s booth highlighted important focused ultrasound research for Parkinson’s disease. The Foundation’s Chief Scientific Officer, Jessica Foley, PhD, was joined by two clinicians working in focused ultrasound from the University of Maryland: Paul Fishman, MD, PhD, and Dheeraj Gandhi, MBBS. 


Foundation Chief Scientific Officer Raises Awareness for the Technology at Speaking Events


Foundation Chief Scientific Officer, Jessica Foley, PhD, took part in two important gatherings this month to raise awareness of focused ultrasound. She presented to the Senior Statesmen of Virginia on the challenges of attaining widespread use for a medical device and shared how the Foundation facilitates the process. 

And last week, Foley gave a Visionary Speaker Seminar for the Medical Imaging Training Program at her alma mater, Duke University. There, she shared an overview of the state of the field of focused ultrasound and its future applications. 


Donor Profile: John and Dudley Macfarlane


After careers in finance in New York and Connecticut, John and Dudley Macfarlane now reside in White Hall, Virginia, where John is managing member for an investment advisory firm and Dudley runs an equestrian breeding and training operation. The pair share why the technology’s potential, a personal hope, and the local connection have made them loyal supporters of the Foundation’s work. 


 Patient News

Focused Ultrasound was Worth the Wait for Parkinson’s Patient

For most people, gaining 25 pounds over the course of a year is not cause to celebrate. But Ron Nickelson sees the change as tangible evidence of how far he has come since he was the second patient treated at The Ohio State University Wexler Medical Center in a clinical trial investigating focused ultrasound for Parkinson’s dyskinesia. 


Canine Patients are all Smiles after Focused Ultrasound

Meet two dogs who have participated in focused ultrasound clinical trials. Maddi Lynn was treated at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMCVM) for a malignant sarcoma on her front leg. Oreo suffered from a plasmacytoma on his lower lip and underwent focused ultrasound therapy at the Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. 


 Research News

New Foundation Program Funds Veterinary Clinical Trials

In November 2017, the Foundation launched a new veterinary program to develop focused ultrasound therapies for the treatment of companion animals. We are now supporting trials to investigate treating cancer and promote wound healing in pets – and more studies are in the pipeline. 


Parkinson’s Trial in Madrid Investigates Treating a New Target


A new Parkinson’s disease clinical trial is underway in Madrid, Spain. Led by José Obeso, MD, the trial will investigate the safety and efficacy of using Insightec’s Exablate Neuro focused ultrasound device to treat the cardinal features of Parkinson’s disease. Unlike previous studies that targeted the globus pallidus region of the brain, this trial aims to treat the part of the brain called the subthalamic nucleus. 


Japanese Parkinson’s Trial Builds on Swiss Research


At Tokyo Women’s Medical University in Japan, Takaomi Taira, MD, PhD, has begun a focused ultrasound trial that is pioneering an approach for treating the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. He is targeting the pallidothalamic tracts in the brain, an approach that he believes is superior to other targets due in part to their location in the center of the brain. 


Meeting Report: American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine


The annual meeting of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine was held March 24-28, 2018, in New York, NY. The sessions included focused ultrasound applications ranging from clinical experience to basic science. The Foundation’s Research Fellow, Frederic Padilla, PhD, attended the meeting.  


Research Roundup


As biomarkers have become critical tools for early detection and treatment of tumors, a Stanford University team investigated whether focused ultrasound could help detect cancer sooner. A University of Washington group conducted a pilot study using focused ultrasound neuromodulation to identify painful nerves in patients with limb amputations. And finally, biomedical engineers at Columbia University sought alternative imaging techniques to enable focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier outside an MRI suite. 


For a full list of this month’s research, visit our free, online research library of focused ultrasound publications.

JTU Article of the Month – Beam Distortion in Prostate Treatment


Experimental Study of Beam Distortion Due to Fiducial Markers during Salvage HIFU in the Prostate. 
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is used as a noninvasive salvage treatment option for prostate cancer patients with local recurrence. Researchers at University College London wondered whether fiducial markers left in the prostate after external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) might interfere with HIFU. The group used tissue-mimicking material and an EBRT marker in laboratory studies and concluded the markers likely affect the placement and efficacy of HIFU lesions. Should patient selection and treatment planning changes be made when considering prostate salvage HIFU after failed EBRT? 

See The Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound >

Tell us about your research news for our next newsletter >
 Industry News

Exablate Neuro Takes Top Honor at Edison Awards


Insightec’s Exablate Neuro focused ultrasound device has been recognized with a Gold Edison Award, the top honor in the Medical Innovations category at the Edison Awards. Edison Universe is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering innovation, celebrating natural curiosity, supporting discovery, and promoting the core skills and processes of innovation. Their annual awards honor innovation, recognize achievement, and celebrate success from organizations across the globe. The 2018 award recognized Exablate Neuro for its ability to improve treatment options for essential tremor.


Minneapolis Medtech Incubator Accepting Applications


A new Gener8tor accelerator program for medtech startups is now seeking applicants. The program is offered by gBETA Medtech, an accelerator that works with medical device, healthcare-related software, biotech, and diagnostics startups. Companies must send a founder to Minneapolis for seven weeks, but participants gain access to a community of entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts, and receive individualized coaching and mentorship. Each program is capped at up to six teams and requires no fees and no equity. The incubator is a partnership between Gener8tor, Mayo Clinic, and the University of Minnesota. It is sponsored by Boston Scientific.

The application deadline for the Summer 2018 program is June 22.


Tell us about your industry news for our next newsletter >
 Media Coverage
News OK | John Grisham Speaks [about focused ultrasound] in Oklahoma City 4/13/18 [video]

MD Magazine | Using Ultrasound to Stop Tremors in Parkinson's and Dyskinesia 4/12/18

R&D Magazine | How Advanced Nanotechnology Can Improve Cancer Care 4/12/18

News-Medical | Researchers Review Potential of Targeted Nanocarriers to Revolutionize Cancer Care 4/12/18

Medical Physics Web | Nanoparticles and Ultrasound Stimulate Neural Networks 4/10/18

Cision PR Newswire | SonaCare Medical Sponsors the Inaugural Focal Therapy Masterclass at Imperial College London 4/10/18

Katina Ansen patient story (Weill Cornell) picked up on KTVA CBS Affiliate in Anchorage, AK | Ultrasound Treatment for Essential Tremor 4/10/18 and WTAJ CBS Affiliate in Central PA | New Procedure for Tremors 4/9/18

BioMed Central Series Blog | Advances in Parkinson’s Disease Treatment 4/9/18

EurekAlert! | £1 Million Funds 7 Grants for Pancreatic Cancer Research 4/6/18

DOTmed | The HIFU Evaluation and Assessment of Treatment (HEAT) Registry Now Includes Data from Over 100 U.S. Sonablate® Patients 4/6/18

South China Morning Post | Eye Tech Care Brings Pioneering Non-invasive Treatment Against Glaucoma to China 3/29/18

CBS Miami | New Prostate Cancer Treatment Is A Real Life Saver 3/28/18 [Video]

ICR Cancer Research | 'Virtual Tumours' Predict Success of Tumour-heating Sound Waves 3/27/18

CBS Boston | Boston Hospital Testing Device to Rid Epilepsy Patients of Seizures 3/22/18 [Video]

The Baltimore Sun | Research Could Lead to New Treatments for Parkinson's 3/22/18
 Upcoming Events
April 21-27, 2018 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA

April 28-May 2, 2018 American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA

May 7-10, 2018 35th Annual Meeting of the Society for Thermal Medicine (STM), Tucson, AZ  

May 14-17, 2018 18th International Symposium for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU), Nashville, TN

May 18-21, 2018 American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA

June 1-5, 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL

June 18-22, 2018 European Society of Paediatric Radiology (ESPR) Annual Meeting, Berlin, Germany

July 17-21, 2018 40th International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Honolulu, HI

October 21-25, 2018 6th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound, Reston, VA 
See the full calendar and submit your event >