December 23, 2021 - Happy Holidays from the Foundation - and more news



December 23, 2021

Top News | Foundation News | Patient NewsResearch News | Industry News | Events
Dear Friends,

As 2021 comes to a close, we reflect on another challenging year in the face of the pandemic. Although we all hoped by this time COVID-19’s grip on the way we live and work would have relented, we have been astounded by the resiliency of the focused ultrasound community. Research continues at a blistering pace, and new clinical trials are exploring focused ultrasound as an option for patients with deadly brain tumors, trigeminal neuralgia, neuropathic pain, liver tumors, and opioid addiction, among others. We have also seen regulatory wins this year for Parkinson’s disease, desmoid tumors, and prostate diseases. In the world of reimbursement, focused ultrasound for essential tremor is now covered by Aetna – the first national insurance payor in the US – and the national governmental insurance in the UK. There have also been positive coverage decisions for prostate disorders and histotripsy of liver tumors.

That progress would not be possible without the commitment and perseverance of the entire focused ultrasound community. We extend our sincere gratitude to you for your dedication every day to the endgame of improving patients’ lives with this technology as soon as possible.

As the field continues to push the envelope in translating innovative ideas into clinical research – with an astounding 160 or more indications currently in various stages of research and development – the Foundation’s role becomes increasingly important. This year, we marked our 15th anniversary, and we humbly recognize that our success has been made possible solely by the generosity of our donors and friends. Without their support, the Foundation would not exist.

We look forward to 2022, and although much uncertainty remains in the world, we are optimistic and eager to see how the field advances in the new year as we continue to improve lives with focused ultrasound. We wish all of you and your families a happy, healthy holiday season!

The Focused Ultrasound Foundation Team
Foundation News
Foundation’s Chief Scientific Officer Elected to Virginia Bio Board
  • Jessica Foley, PhD, will join the Board of Directors of the Virginia Biotechnology Association (Virginia Bio).
  • Virginia Bio advocates for its more than 250 biopharmaceutical and device industry members on federal, state, and local issues. 
  • The organization is a valuable partner for the Foundation.  

Chairman Reflects on the Foundation’s 15th Anniversary
  • The Foundation was founded in 2006 to accelerate the development and adoption of focused ultrasound.
  • Fifteen years later, Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD, reflects on the growth of both the field and the Foundation’s efforts in an interview with device manufacturer Insightec.

Focused Ultrasound for Glioblastoma: A Research Update
  • Suzanne LeBlang, MD, the Foundation’s Director of Clinical Relationships, recorded a presentation on the current state of research of focused ultrasound for glioblastoma (GBM).
  • She shared a similar update with the Foundation's Board of Directors at their quarterly meeting last month.
WATCH THE VIDEO (11 minutes) > 
Patient News
Focused Ultrasound for Parkinson’s Disease Update
  • Tim Meakem, MD, the Foundation’s Chief Medical Officer, recently presented to a Parkinson’s disease support group about the status of focused ultrasound for treating the disease.
  • He discussed the current research status of focused ultrasound for Parkinson's, including ongoing clinical trials and recent approvals.

More Patient News
CT Urologist from Westmed Medical Group Performs Practice’s First High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Procedure for Prostate Cancer | Cision PR Web
Patient's Tremors Disappear After Incision-free Brain Surgery at Advent Health Celebration | Advent Health
Minimally Invasive ‘HiFU’ Beat Her Essential Tremor: ‘Be Brave Enough to Say You’ll Do It’ | Baptist Health South Florida [video]
Research News
Further Evidence for Staged Bilateral Focused Ultrasound of Essential Tremor
  • Clinical evidence continues to accrue for bilateral focused ultrasound treatment for essential tremor.
  • Prof. Andres Lozano, MD, PhD, and a team of researchers have published new clinical trial data in the journal Movement Disorders.
  • When asked whether they would treat the second side again, all 10 patients said yes.

Focused Ultrasound Clinical Trials Highlighted at RSNA’s 2021 Annual Meeting
  • The 107th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) was held November 28 through December 2 in Chicago.
  • In the “Best of Clinical Trials at RSNA 2021” session, one trial of Profound's TULSA-PRO device and two trials using the Insightec Exablate body system were highlighted. 

Mikhail Shapiro, PhD, Receives Prestigious NIH Director’s Pioneer Award
  • Mikhail Shapiro, PhD, received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award.
  • The award supports pioneering scientists in biomedical, social science, and behavioral research.
  • Dr. Shapiro is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Medicine at Caltech.

Craig Meyer, PhD, Elected to National Academy of Inventors
  • Craig Meyer, PhD, has been elected to the National Academy of Inventors, the highest professional distinction given to academic inventors.
  • Dr. Meyer is Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Radiology, and Medical Imaging at the University of Virginia.
  • He holds 36 patents that have improved MRI image acquisition and made the process faster.

Visit our free, online research library of focused ultrasound publications.
More Research News
MRI-Guided Focused Ultrasound Can Help with Pain for Cancer Patients | Aunt Minnie
The Use of High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Plus 150mg Bicalutamide as First Line Salvage Therapy for Local Recurrent Prostate Cancer | DocWireNews
Industry News
Company Profile: Advanced Microbubbles, Inc.
  • Advanced Microbubbles is designing and manufacturing custom, size-isolated, ultrasound-triggered microbubbles for drug delivery and gene therapy.  
  • The company’s vision is to enable safe and precise cancer chemotherapy using uniform-sized microbubbles.
  • Promising preclinical research suggests that the company's microbubbles may help control high-risk neuroblastoma.

Theraclion Announces New European Sites for Varicose Vein Treatment
  • Theraclion’s Sonovein® will be available at two new centers: one in Italy and one in Serbia.  
  • Sonovein is the first robotic solution for a 100% noninvasive echotherapy treatment of varicose veins.
  • Theraclion is also introducing the technology in Asia and taking steps toward US FDA approval.

More Industry News
FDA Clears Insightec's MRI-Guided Sound Wave Technology to Treat Prostate Cancer | Fierce Biotech
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Upcoming Events
Upcoming Abstract Submission Deadlines

The Society for Thermal Medicine (STM) will hold its 2022 Virtual Annual Meeting May 1-4, 2022. Registration is open, and the deadline for abstract submission is February 1.

The 21st Annual International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) will take place in Toronto, Canada, June 7-10, 2022. Registration is open, and abstracts are due February 15.
January 5-8, 2022 CES 2022, Las Vegas, NV

January 18-20, 2022 3rd Annual Glioblastoma Drug Development Summit, Boston, MA and VIRTUAL

January 27-29, 2022 Neurosurgical Society of the Virginias Annual Meeting, White Sulphur Springs, WV

March 2-6, 2022 European Congress of Radiology (ECR) | VIRTUAL EVENT

March 12-16, 2022 American Institute for Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), San Diego, CA

May 1-4, 2022 Society for Thermal Medicine (STM) 2022 Virtual Annual Meeting | VIRTUAL EVENT

June 7-10, 2022 21st Annual International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU), Toronto, Canada