May 2010: FUS Foundation’s Brain Program off to a Strong Start and more...


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Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation NEWSLETTER VOL. 19
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Dear Subscriber,

Abstract submissions and registration open this month for our upcoming 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound. The lead story in this issue provides up to the minute information about both.

In the months and weeks leading up to the symposium, subscribing to this newsletter will give you access to updates about speakers, topics and other important details. Subscribers will receive special email messages and monthly previews of the presenters and research, the scientific and poster sessions, and the sponsors and exhibits that will make this year’s symposium the premier event for modern medicine’s most exciting forefront. 

We encourage you to forward this newsletter to colleagues and collaborators who have an interest in MR-guided focused ultrasound. Suggest that they become subscribers, too. Don’t let them miss out on news about the symposium and the emerging and quickly evolving field of MR-guided focused ultrasound.

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On-line abstract submission and registration will open May 15 for 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided FUS

MR-guided Focused Ultrasound 2010Researchers are invited to submit oral and poster presentation abstracts for the 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound. The online submission process, which will be administered by SPLTrak, will open on May 15 and close on August 16, 2010. May 15 will also be the opening date for registering for the symposium, which will be held at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia (near Dulles International Airport, Washington, DC, USA) from October 17 through 20, 2010.

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 FUS Foundation’s Brain Program is off to a strong start

FUSF Brain Program Committees and planning groups include thought-leaders from around the world

Starting with its first thought-leaders’ meeting in March 2009, the FUS Foundation’s Brain Program has rapidly evolved into an international, multi-stakeholder initiative that is sponsoring  research vital to the rapid advancement of MR-guided focused ultrasound.

The program, which aims to accelerate clinical availability of reimbursable FUS treatments for neurological disorders, such as brain tumors (gliomas, metastases, meningiomas and pituitary) and essential tremor, has drawn participants from all leading organizations in the focused ultrasound field.

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Researcher at UVA FUS Center of Excellence receives prestigious NREF grant

Monteith will investigate MR-guided FUS as treatment for intracerebral hemorrhage

Deadly brain hemorrhages are the subject of focused ultrasound research being performed by Stephen Monteith, M.D., a senior neurosurgery resident at the University of Virginia.

One of nine grant recipients recently announced by the Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation (NREF) of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), Monteith received the prestigious research fellowship in the Cerebrovascular Section. He will investigate the in vivo use of MR-guided FUS to treat intracerebral hematomas, which are clots that form within the brain tissue due to ruptured blood vessels caused by a stroke or traumatic injury.

Stephen Monteith
Shown in photo: NREF fellowship recipient Stephen Monteith and FUS Foundation Brain team members Eben Alexander and John Snell

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 FUS Foundation receives $100,000 Gift

The Caruthers Foundation of Arlington, Virginia has donated $100,000 to the FUS Foundation.

In a note, Preston Caruthers wrote, “We are pleased to help the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation on its quest to deliver medically advanced methods of treating breast tumors, brain tumors, uterine fibroids, blood clots and bone metastases. This humanitarian cause is noble in its effort to combat truly terrible medical conditions. We are certain your efforts will have a profoundly positive impact on the medical community and overall human health ultimately.”

Acknowledging the gift, FUS Foundation CEO, Neal Kassell, M.D., said, “We are thankful for the generosity of the Caruthers family and for their tradition of supporting social, civic and humanitarian causes. By accelerating the development and availability of treatments with MR-guided focused ultrasound, their gift will save and improve millions of lives worldwide.”

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 Fibroid Relief at Last event in LA draws record crowd
The Foundation’s patient support organization, Fibroid Relief, conducted its third and most successful free public information event on uterine fibroids on April 27 at the Marriott Marina del Ray in Los Angeles. Over 125 women attended “Fibroid Relief At Last,” an interactive program featuring UCLA clinicians, a naturopathic doctor and well-known patient advocate, Erin S.  Fibroid Relief UCLA Panelists
Panelists at the Fibroid Relief at Last event included (from left to right) Dr. Steven Raman of UCLA, Fibroid Relief Patient Advocate Erin S. and Dr. Christopher Tarnay of UCLA.
Fibroid Relief Executive Director Tina Krall
Tina Krall, executive director of Fibroid Relief, moderated the panel discussion on April 27.
“We received very positive feedback from participants,” says Tina Krall, executive director of Fibroid Relief.  “The audience asked a lot of amazing questions and many of them stayed after the program to engage directly with our panelists.”

Krall said one participant was so moved by the information she received that she planned to cancel an upcoming hysterectomy and explore treatment options discussed at the event.

“She had no idea that other treatments were available and might offer better outcomes for her,” Krall explains.

Fibroid Relief At Last events educate women about uterine fibroids and current treatment options, including focused ultrasound. Previous programs were held in 2009 in Chicago and London. 

The LA event was also the first to include a discussion of alternative medicine. “Fibroid Relief is a patient-centric organization. We added this topic because of the interest level indicated by questions submitted by patients to our website and Facebook page,” Krall notes. “Questions asked at the event indicate that women are interested in using complimentary and natural therapies in tandem with traditional medical treatments. Adding a naturopathic doctor to the program really rounded out the spectrum of treatment options available today.”

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 Harvard’s Seung-Schik Yoo discusses FUS-mediated neuromodulation

Applications may include stroke, movement disorders, depression and substance abuse

Dr. Seung-Schik YooSeung-Schik Yoo, Ph.D., MBA, of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, is in search of a non-invasive method to assess region-specific brain functions and to modify and control aberrant brain activities. His recent neuromodulation research indicates that MR-guided focused ultrasound may provide the capabilities he seeks.

During a recent Foundation-sponsored lecture at the University of Virginia, Yoo said the technology could someday be used to perform functional brain mapping and to treat conditions such as stroke, movement disorders, depression and substance abuse.

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 MR-guided FUS spotlighted during 2010 Girl’s Day in Germany

German Chancellor Angela MerkelTo encourage school girls to pursue careers in science and technology, Germany celebrated its tenth annual Girl’s Day on April 21, and one of the newest developments featured was an MR-guided focused ultrasound system, Insightec’s ExAblate 2000.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel learned about MR-guided focused ultrasound during Girl’s Day on April 21. (Photo courtesy of Quelle der Fotos: TK)

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 During its first meeting, Foundation Council visits UVA Center of Excellence

UVA Focused Ultrasound CenterCharter members of the Foundation Council met for the first time in Charlottesville on April 26. Included on their agenda were tours of the Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence and the Gamma Knife suite at the University of Virginia. Afterwards, they were joined by members of the Foundation’s board of directors and staff as well as key focused ultrasound researchers and officials from UVA.

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Special Preview: MR-guided focused ultrasound lectures, poster sessions at International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound meeting

ISTU 2010Event is scheduled for June 9 to 12, 2010 in Tokyo

For the first time in its ten-year history, the International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound will feature dedicated sessions for MR-guided focused ultrasound. The roster of speakers and poster presenters is filled with researchers from leading institutions around the world, giving ISTU 2010 the potential to have a powerful impact on the emerging field of MR-guided focused ultrasound.

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