October 2013: Experts Share Latest Advances at Rome Symposium and more...




  Focused Ultrasound Foundation   Accelerating the development
and adoption of focused ultrasound

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FUSF Newsletter
October 2013
Learn more about the Symposium >

Also in this issue


BBC Features FUS >
Bone Mets Workshop >
Ellen Block joins Council >
Chicago Awareness Event >

European Society Formed, Seeking Members >
Fibroid Patient Survey Published, Creates Buzz >
JTU Article of the Month >


Two Focused Ultrasound Companies Recognized for Innovation >

MR-guided ultrasound shows early promise for knee pain & more… >


Partnering for Cures >
European Association of Neurological Societies >
TEDx >
Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) >
Experts Share Latest Advances at Rome Symposium

Focused ultrasound physicians, researchers, and industry experts convene


More than 200 clinicians and scientists from Europe and across the globe gathered in Rome this month for the Focused Ultrasound Therapy - 2nd European Symposium, which was supported by the Foundation.

"The symposium more than met our goals of sharing knowledge and stimulating new ideas," said symposium co-chair Alessandro Napoli, MD, PhD, of Sapienza University of Rome. "The meeting helped to establish and consolidate relations, foster discussion of research approaches, and fuel advances in the field."



British surgeon Gabriel Weston learns about the procedure from Virginia’s Dr. Jeff Elias


BBC Features Parkinsonian Tremor Treatment

Astonishing. Amazing. Wonder.

These are some of the words that British surgeon Gabriel Weston uses to describe focused ultrasound in the first episode of the BBC health innovation television program, "Trust Me I’m a Doctor." The program follows Dr. Jeff Elias and his team at the University of Virginia as they treat the tremor of a Parkinson’s patient in a clinical trial funded by the Foundation. The segment does a wonderful job of sharing the patient’s story and chronicling the transformative effect of the treatment.

We are excited to have the program spread awareness as a range of focused ultrasound clinical trials for neurological disorders are being conducted. Watch the program on our website and share it with your friends and colleagues.


Experts discuss optimizing the use of focused ultrasound for bone metastases

Bone Metastasis Workshop Aims to Accelerate Adoption

Before the European Symposium in Rome, 24 experts from academia, industry, and the Foundation participated in a one-day workshop to discuss opportunities and challenges for laying the groundwork to expand adoption of MR-guided focused ultrasound for treating the pain associated with bone cancer metastases.

The main topics addressed included:

  • Treatment methods and logistics
  • Current and future patient selection
  • Required additional clinical trials
  • Additional evidence that should be gathered for payer approval
  • Best practices
  • Patient flow
  • Current insurance coverage status

A summary of the meeting outcomes will be published in the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound.


"The fact that patients with breast cancer, prostate cancer, fibroids, brain tumors, and Parkinson’s can be treated with a focused beam of sound waves is nothing less than revolutionary."

- Ellen Block


Ellen H. Block Joins Council

The Foundation is pleased to announce that Ellen H. Block has joined our Council. Members of the Foundation Council serve as goodwill ambassadors, advance our message, and connect us to other people who should hear our story. Ellen is a registered occupational therapist, small business owner, and an active philanthropist from Palm Beach, Florida. She is engaged in a wide range of societal and community-related issues locally, nationally, and globally.

"We all know people suffering from disease and know the emotional, physical, and financial stress that they and their families experience with traditional treatments–the anesthesia, surgery, scars, and lengthy radiation therapy," said Mrs. Block. "Imagine the relief that focused ultrasound can provide. This is why it is important to me to help accelerate the adoption and use of focused ultrasound worldwide, and to support the discovery of new applications for this amazing technology."




Neal F. Kassell, MD presents the Foundation model to Chicago audience


Foundation Council Members Host Event in Chicago

The Focused Ultrasound Foundation Council is comprised of a select group of advisors and advocates who provide counsel, organize cultivation events, and help advance the Foundation’s fundraising and public awareness goals.

In this spirit, two Council members, Diane Heller and Ellen Block, partnered to host an awareness event at the Arts Club of Chicago in early October. An engaged crowd comprised of doctors, researchers, philanthropists, and patients were in attendance to learn about the technology and the Foundation as a model of venture philanthropy. The presentation was followed by a spirited dialogue, indicating the crowd’s heightened interest in focused ultrasound and its potential.

As the Foundation’s first such event in Chicago, we were interested in broadening our scope. "A center of medical research and innovation, Chicago is a city where the Foundation would like to establish more collaborative relationships," explains the Foundation’s Director of Development, Pamela Minetti. "During the reception so graciously hosted by our Council members, many new friends were made. We look forward to building on this promising beginning."

Similar events are planned in Washington, DC, and Charlottesville.

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"Our goals are to raise both funding and awareness of its value and to join forces with the FUS Foundation at the European and international level."

- General Secretary Andreas Melzer, MD




European Society Seeking Members

The European Focused Ultrasound Society (EUFUS) was recently created as philanthropic forum to establish research funding, share best practices, and promote cooperation in the field for better patient treatment. The organization held their first formal meeting at the Rome Symposium and elected Alessandro Napoli, MD, PhD, of Sapienza University of Rome as President, and Wladyslaw Gedroyc, MD, of Imperial College London as Co-President and Symposium Chairman 2015.

"We are thrilled that the EUFUS is advancing focused ultrasound research, and we encourage European researchers to apply to them for funding," said Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. EUFUS is recruiting members for an annual donation of 30€, is accepting charitable donations, and is planning a fundraising event in Spring 2014. Additionally, EUFUS will support the informal registry of pregnancy after focused ultrasound, led by Dr. Jaron Rabinovici, Tel Aviv, and EUFUS. More information will be available at www.eufus.org, and you may contact Christine Melzer at office@eufus.org.




Foundation’s Patient Survey Demonstrates Impact of Fibroids and Preference for Noninvasive Treatment

The Foundation’s patient advocacy program, Fibroid Relief, has been garnering nationwide media coverage of a newly published survey that found that uterine fibroids cause significant fear and morbidity and can compromise workplace performance. It also found that women prefer treatment options that are not invasive and protect fertility (like focused ultrasound).

Results of the survey, which was developed by Fibroid Relief and leading fibroid experts from the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, and the University of North Carolina, were published this month in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Journal of Women’s Health. The survey included nearly 1,000 U.S. women with symptomatic fibroids and is the first of its kind.

"Working with experts like Dr. Elizabeth A. Stewart from the Mayo Clinic, we have documented women’s experience not only for the medical literature, but also to raise awareness in consumer media. Through our new patient communication tool, we are encouraging women to get diagnosed early and to learn about all treatment options, including focused ultrasound, so they select the right individual approach.""

- Justine Atkinson, Executive Director of Fibroid Relief



JTU Article of the Month – Safety and treatment volumes following new developments of FUS for uterine fibroids

Can newly developed equipment systems more effectively treat uterine fibroids while maintaining safety? In its October issue, The Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound published a prospective cohort analysis of 34 women undergoing MRgFUS uterine fibroid treatment with the ExAblate 2100.


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Two Focused Ultrasound Companies Recognized for Innovation

Fierce Medical’s 2013 Fierce 15

As a true testament to the potential of focused ultrasound to change medicine, TWO out of 15 companies selected by Fierce Medical for their top 15 innovators of the year are focused ultrasound companies: Kona Medical and InSightec. The article states, "InSightec has quietly become Israel's most interesting medical device outfit." About Kona Medical, it said: "unlike anyone else in the space, its device lowers blood pressure without the need for an invasive procedure."

The Top 12 Most Amazing Israeli Medical Advances
Given that Israel is first in the world for medical device patents per capita and second in Europe for bio-pharma, ISRAEL21c had a formidable task in choosing the country’s most significant medical contributions. Amid competition from 700 companies, InSightec was chosen as one of 2013’s top 12 most significant recent Israeli contributions to the medical field.


Do you have industry news to share in our newsletter? Share industry news here.Share industry news here.


MR-guided ultrasound shows early promise for knee pain October 21, 2013 on medwireNews

Theraclion unveils very positive initial clinical results in treatment of thyroid nodules October 10, 2013 on News-Medical.net

Swedish Neuroscience Institute seeks participants for trial of new technology to treat essential tremor October 3, 2013 Edmonds Beacon

Taking a New Tack on Prostate Cancer October 2, 2013 on Philly.com

Supercomputer Bolsters Innovative Stroke Research September 25, 2013 in HPC Wire and Clot Busting Simulations Test Potential Stroke Treatment in R&D Magazine

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ISTU 2014 will be held April 2-5, 2014 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, NV. The complete program is available on the meeting’s webpage. The deadline for oral presentations is December 12, 2013, and the deadline for poster presentations is January 13, 2014. New this year -- a whole day of educational courses, both clinical and basic science tracks, with CME credit available.


November 3-5, 2013 — Partnering for Cures, New York, NY

November 11-14, 2013 — European Association of Neurological Societies Annual Meeting, Tel Aviv, Israel

November 15, 2013 — TEDx, Charlottesville, VA

December 1-6, 2013 — Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL

Do you have an event to list in our newsletter? Share your event information here

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