Bulletin March 2008

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Dear Subscriber,


In order to keep our interested subscribers up to date on the happenings in MRgFUS and the FUS Foundation, we'll be sending out periodic bulletins between our quarterly newsletters. 

The Foundation continues to advance its mission of increasing the awareness, ability, and availability of MRgFUS.  This transforming and potentially disruptive medical technology holds the promise to treat a wide range of medical conditions with a non-invasiveness that has heretofore been unavailable.

For more information about this technique and our mission, please visit our website at http://www.fusfoundation.org. We also welcome questions, suggestions, and - above all - additional colleagues who see clearly the transformative potential of this work and want to join us in driving it into practice.


  • MRgFUS Symposium Registration Now Live
The registration system for the Foundation sponsored International MRgFUS Symposium October 6-7, 2008 in Tyson's Corner, VA is now available.

This exciting conference is being tailored to provide an opportunity for the primary movers in the MRgFUS arena to assemble and learn about the latest advancements in MR-guided focused ultrasound and related technologies.  Topics covered should be of interest to researchers wanting to exchange ideas with other leading researchers, clinicians wishing to stay abreast of the latest techniques, as well as valuable content for administrators, payors, investors, manufacturers, and foundations.  

In addition to the open scientific session, the Symposium will address:
MRgFUS Symposium
  • Advances in MR Imaging and Focused Ultrasound Technologies
  • Facilitated/Targeted Drug Delivery
  • Sonothrombolysis
  • Clinical Applications including:
  • Uterine Fibroids
  • Breast
  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Prostate
  • Liver
  • Bone
  • Reimbursement
  • Training & Credentialing
  • Turf Wars: Who Should Treat?
  • Radiation vs. Ultrasound: Future Best Practices
  • Accelerating adoption through a Patient Registry, Patient Support Organization, and Focused Ultrasound Society
  • Corporate profiles – the leading MRgFUS vendors will present their latest advancements 

For more information about the Symposium, please visit our website at http://www.fusfoundation.org/research.php 

We invite you to submit abstracts for presentations and poster display. Email abstracts@fusfoundation.org for submission details.

Online registration can be done on our registration website found at http://www.regonline.com/mrgfus_symposium. Online hotel reservations will be available soon as well.

  • FUS Foundation Welcomes New Research and Clinical Director

EBEN ALEXANDER III, MD, FACS was recently appointed the Foundation's Research & Education Programs Director. Dr. Alexander is a neurosurgeon who did his residency at Duke University and at Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a Fellowship in Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.  In 1988, Dr. Alexander served on the neurosurgical staff at the Brigham & Women's Hospital and the Children's Hospital in Boston, with an appointment at Harvard Medical School, achieving the rank of Associate Professor by 1994. He directed the Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery program during his tenure at the Brigham. As such, he was instrumental in developing the Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program into a world leadership position based on innovative technology and advances in clinical indications. This involved an active role in developing a treatment system that became the gold standard worldwide for use with linear accelerator-based radiosurgery systems.
He also served as the main neurosurgical liaison working with software and hardware engineers over a decade in developing the world’s first Intraoperative MR system at the Brigham & Women's Hospital. This involved a very intensive effort in redesigning neurosurgical instrumentation and technique, as well as defining basic imaging paradigms and capabilities to generate a radical new approach to neurosurgical intervention in this revolutionary field. His work culminated in pursuing active clinical investigation into enhancement of operative techniques and emerging clinical indications in the realm of Intraoperative MR imaging. In 2001, he went to Umass Memorial Health Care in Worcester, MA to develop the Movement Disorders Surgery program there.

He has been invited to talk around the globe, mainly concerning image-guided surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery, advanced management of brain tumors and the treatment of refractory pain syndromes. He has contributed in writing more than 150 scientific papers and chapters and helped edit five books.

The Foundation is proud to have the expertise of Dr. Alexander overseeing the research and clinical initiatives it is pursuing to ensure that both the Foundation's Research and Fellowship Programs maintain the utmost quality and that MRgFUS continues its pace of adoption and advancement.

  • FUS Foundation Funds Two Additional MRgFUS Research Projects

In the Foundation's continuing commitment to push the state of the art in MRgFUS technologies and applications, we have funded two additional projects.  Our Research Advisory Committee is in the process of reviewing many more applications and will continue to do so, enabling us to select the projects that will provide the greatest returns to the community. 

MR-Guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound - Temperature Measurement
Principle Investigator: Dennis L. Parker, Ph.D., University of Utah; Co-Investigator: Douglas Christensen, Ph.D., University of Utah

Abstract: Accurate, near-real-time temperature measurements are essential for effective monitoring of all types of thermal therapies. Current methods are too slow, subject to substantial errors from motion and fail in fat. We propose: 1) To develop a modification of the PRF technique to allow simultaneous measurement of proton longitudinal relaxation rate, T1. 2) To continue the implementation of model-based linear predictive techniques to utilize the best estimate of tissue thermal properties and linear predictive filtering (e.g. Kalman filter) to obtain the current estimate of the temperature distribution from the prior temperature distribution. Tissue thermal properties will be estimated based upon segmentation from multiple MRI contrasts.

FUS-mediated Reversible Modulation of Region-specific Brain Function
Principal Investigator: Seung-Schik Yoo, Ph.D., Brigham & Women's Hospital;  Co-Investigators: Alexandra Golby, M.D. Ph.D., Brigham & Women's Hospital; Nathan McDannold, Ph.D., Brigham & Women's Hospital

Abstract: The goal of the proposed research is to investigate the feasibility of using low-intensity and low-frequency focused ultrasound energy to reversibly modulate the activity of a region-specific brain area. We will modulate the cortical activity from an animal brain using FUS sonication, as monitored by real-time functional MRI. Prior to the animal experiment, in-vitro phantoms containing neural cells will be constructed and sonicated to estimate the range of suitable sonication parameters. This work is expected to provide an unprecedented opportunity for the transient functional modulation of targeted brain regions, creating a new line of applications, such as FUS-mediated functional mapping.

Research Applications:
To apply for a research award, please visit our website for more information: http://www.fusfoundation.org/research.php

  • Upcoming MRgFUS Conferences

The following upcoming conferences will feature discussions and seminars that may be of interest to those in the MRgFUS community. (Conferences in red indicate attendance by FUSF staff - look for our booth at SIR!)
  • Soceity of Interventional Radiology (SIR), Washington DC, March 15th - 20th - />
  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Sat. April 12th - Wed Apr 16th 2008 - />
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), Sat. April 26 - May 1st 2008 - />
  • American College of OBGYN (ACOG), Sat May 3rd - Wed May 7th 2008 - />
  • Selected Research Papers

Below is a list of recent research articles that may be of interest to those involved in MRgFUS. See our website for additional article summaries. If you know of other recent articles we should cover, please let us know.

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