July 2010: “Early Bird” Registration Ending for MR-guided FUS Symposium and more...


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Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation NEWSLETTER VOL. 21
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Dear Reader,

As frequently stated, the mission of the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation is to accelerate the development and availability of patient treatments using MR-guided focused ultrasound. Typically, acceleration is associated with phrases such as lightening speed, rapid growth and explosive change. In reality, the acceleration process often involves and requires periods of steady, incremental growth. These are periods during which groundwork is laid for larger developments to come.

By far, the most significant incremental development in recent weeks was the expansion of InSightec’s European CE mark for uterine fibroids. The mark now includes adenomyosis, a benign yet painful gynecologic condition, and gives a new patient population access to the benefits of MR-guided focused ultrasound therapy.

Other important, incremental achievements spotlighted in this month’s newsletter are:

  • a Capitol Hill event for members of the U.S. Congress that increased the visibility of MR-guided focused ultrasound as a leading medical innovation
  • a satellite symposium in the  U.S. that could pave the way for discussions within the FDA and national laboratories regarding new FUS-mediated targeted drug delivery treatments
  • an American-Swiss research collaboration that is addressing key technical issues associated with developing new MR-guided focused ultrasound treatments for breast and liver cancer
  • a pivotal clinical trial now underway at the University of Virginia Health System to evaluate MR-guided focused ultrasound as a treatment for pain associated with metastatic bone tumors
  • the annual ISTU symposium which, for the first time, featured scientific sessions devoted exclusively to  MR-guided focused ultrasound


We congratulate everyone who made these developments possible. The field of MR-guided focused ultrasound is advancing because of the steady progress being made on many fronts. Ultimately, the persistence and commitment that underlies incremental achievements will save lives and alleviate suffering for millions of people worldwide.

Don’t miss out: discounted “Early Bird” registration ends July 31 for 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound

MR-guided Focused Ultrasound 2010“Early bird” registration discounts are scheduled to end on Saturday, July 31 for the upcoming 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound. 

Prior to the deadline, standard registration will cost $350 and registration for residents, students and trainees will be $250. As of August 1, standard registration will increase to $450 and registration for residents, students and trainees will rise to $300.

Complete information about the symposium can be found at www.fusfoundation.org/symposium.

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EU approves new indication, adenomyosis, for MR-guided focused ultrasound

Until late last month, women suffering from adenomyosis – a benign gynecologic condition that causes heavy menstrual bleeding, pain and diffuse uterine enlargement – had two treatment options: hysterectomy or medication. The first option was not viable for women wanting to conceive; the second offered only temporary symptom relief. On June 23, InSightec announced that a third, noninvasive option is now available, thanks to an expanded European CE Mark certification for its ExAblate 2000 system.

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Sponsor list announced for 2010 MR-guided Focused Ultrasound Symposium

“We are thankful for the generous support of our sponsors. Their involvement is crucial to the symposium’s success and to the future of one of today’s most exciting and innovative therapeutic technologies.”

Neal F. Kassell, M.D., Chairman
Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation

The Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation has announced that thus far eight leading manufacturers are sponsoring the 2nd International Symposium on MR-guided Focused Ultrasound, scheduled for October 17 through 20 near Washington, D.C. 

Sponsoring organizations are:

  • Elekta, AB
  • General Electric
  • Image Guided Therapy
  • Imasonic
  • InSightec
  • Philips
  • Varian Medical Equipment
Sponsorship opportunities are still available for the symposium. For information, contact Heather Huff-Simonin at Foundation headquarters

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Capitol Hill event features MR-guided focused ultrasound technology

On June 24, U.S. Representative Edolphus Towns of New York hosted the inaugural Exhibition of Medical Equipment Innovations for his Congressional colleagues, their staffs and the public. Sponsored by the Coalition for Imaging & Bioengineering Research (CIBR), the Capitol Hill event was designed to educate attendees about new medical technologies, including MR-guided focused ultrasound.

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UVA Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence launches clinical trials program

The Foundation-sponsored Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville has launched its first clinical trial, which is investigating the safety and efficacy of MR-guided focused ultrasound treatment for pain associated with metastatic bone tumors.

The Center will begin two other clinical trials this summer: a feasibility study of the safety and initial efficacy of the new ExAblate 2100 Conformal Bone System in treating pain resulting from metastatic bone tumors and a study evaluating the safety of the ExAblate 2100 Uterine Fibroid V2 System in treating symptomatic uterine fibroids.

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Utah researcher developing FUS treatments for breast and liver cancer

The Foundation’s newest Research Award recipient, Nick Todd, Ph.D., and his colleagues at the Universities  of Utah and Geneva are developing MR temperature measuring techniques that overcome the unique challenges of imaging the breast. Ultimately, their goal is to develop new, site-specific MR-guided focused ultrasound treatments for breast and liver cancer.

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Foundation participates in FDA satellite symposium on targeted drug delivery

"Imaging-mediated Drug Delivery, from Bench to Bedside," was the title of a June 25 satellite symposium held in conjunction with a three-day workshop for cancer researchers sponsored by the FDA and several other leading organizations.

Joy Polefone, Ph.D., director of the Foundation’s Focused Ultrasound-mediated Targeted Drug Delivery (FUS-TDD) program, was a speaker at the event, which included overviews of the technology and current preclinical and clinical results as well as a roundtable discussion about the options and potential hurdles for regulatory pathways.

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Fibroid Relief plans July 31 Coffee and Conversation event in London

The Foundation’s patient support organization, Fibroid Relief, will conduct its second Coffee and Conversation event in London on Saturday, July 31. Presented in partnership with St. Mary’s Hospital, the event will offer an intimate, safe and supportive environment where past and present uterine fibroid sufferers can talk freely about their experiences, share knowledge and learn from each other

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Leading experts join Foundation’s FUS-TDD Core Stakeholder’s Group

The Foundation’s Focused Ultrasound-mediated Targeted Drug Delivery Program (FUS-TDD) has announced the formation of a Core Stakeholders Group that includes 14 of today’s leading researchers and experts.

According to Joy Polefone, Ph.D., director of the FUS-TDD Program, core stakeholders will identify key research questions and gating factors to developing clinical applications as well as two to four high potential clinical applications. The group will also help develop research road maps for those applications and serve as implementation leaders within their areas of expertise. 

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ISTU reports its 2010 Symposium was a “great success”

Yoichiro Matsumoto, chair of the 10th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound held in Tokyo last month, reports that the meeting was closed with “great success” due to the active contribution of participants. Matsumoto, a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Tokyo, said the meeting drew 260 participants and featured 184 invited and contributed papers.

“It is obvious that the international interest in therapeutic ultrasound is rapidly growing and the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound will play a significant role in advancing our future healthcare and welfare,” he noted.

A key development at this year’s meeting was the inclusion of dedicated sessions on MR-guided focused ultrasound. Organizers have expressed interest in offering similar sessions at ISTU’s 2011 symposium, which will be held jointly with the American Institute for Ultrasound in Medicine; the meeting is  scheduled for April 10-13 in New York City.

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