May 2013: Seattle Center to be a Major Force in Focused Ultrasound Brain Studies and more...


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FUSF Newsletter
Volume 55 | May 2013
RELIEF Registry
launched >
Stakeholder groups attend awareness event >
Medical innovation is public policy topic >

Profound Medical launches prostate cancer trial >
American urologists show strong interest in HIFU >
InSightec, Philips offer customer newsletters >

Prostate cancer study shows high survival
rates >
Overcoming obstacles to treating liver with FUS >
Focused ultrasound for renal denervation >
FUS method improves heart attack recovery >


NeuroNews >
NBC-TV Chicago >
The Gray Sheet >
TremorGram >
Richmond Times
Dispatch > >


Save the Date
2nd European Symposium on Focused Ultrasound Therapy >

Call for Abstracts
SMIT Conference >

World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery >
Interventional Oncology Sans Frontières >
Yangtze International Summit of Minimally-invasive and Noninvasive Medicine >
2013 AAPM >
New site profile:
Seattle center to be a major force in focused ultrasound brain studies

David W. Newell, MD

  First patient trial at Swedish Medical Center will be for essential tremor
One of the most prestigious neuroscience centers in the world is gearing up to become a major clinical force in MR-guided focused ultrasound brain research. Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) at the Cherry Hill campus of Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, USA will soon treat patients with essential tremor as part of an upcoming Phase III multicenter randomized trial and is considering studies for epilepsy, Parkinsonian tremor, metastatic tumors and intracerebral hemorrhage. SNI Chief of Neuroscience David W. Newell, MD is Executive Sponsor of the project

Panelists for the RELIEF Registry symposium included Jaron Rabinovici, MD of Sheba Medical Center in Israel, Linda Bradley, MD of the Cleveland Clinic, USA and Robert Zurawin, MD of Baylor College of Medicine, USA.

RELIEF Registry to enroll 1,000 uterine fibroid patients

Global initiative will collect long-term outcomes of focused ultrasound
More than 100 guests attended the Future of Fibroid Treatment Symposium hosted on May 6 by the Foundation's patient advocacy organization, Fibroid Relief, during the annual meeting of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The symposium marked the launch of the international RELIEF Registry, which will collect data over a three-year period from 1,000 uterine fibroid patients treated with focused ultrasound.

The registry, which is co-sponsored by the Foundation, InSightec and Philips Healthcare, is crucial to validating the safety, efficacy and long-term durability of focused ultrasound as a treatment for uterine fibroids. The initiative's ultimate objective is to facilitate reimbursement and expand availability of noninvasive focused ultrasound treatments for women with uterine fibroids. More than 30 leading treatment sites worldwide will be involved in patient recruitment and data-collection.


Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William J. Howell discussed the importance of public funding in advancing innovative medical technologies.

Stakeholder groups attend Foundation awareness event
On May 6, the Focused Ultrasound Foundation hosted an awareness event near its headquarters in Charlottesville. Attendees included the Foundation’s Board of Directors, Council and staff as well as focused ultrasound clinicians, researchers, patients, donors and supporters. Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD provided a focused ultrasound overview and was joined by UVA neurosurgeon W. Jeffrey Elias, MD and Tom Queen, a patient in the Foundation-funded Parkinson’s disease clinical trial. Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates William J. Howell discussed the importance of public funding in advancing innovative medical technologies.

U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor and Foundation Scientific Director Jessica Foley

Fostering medical innovation is topic of public policy discussion
Focused Ultrasound Foundation Scientific Director Jessica Foley, PhD joined Virginia-based patient advocacy groups at a luncheon hosted by U.S. Congressman Eric Cantor on May 8, 2013. The discussion focused on what can be done to expand medical research, encourage innovation, prioritize National Institutes of Health funding and improve the Food and Drug Administration approval process.

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Profound Medical launches prostate cancer trial
Patients with localized prostate cancer are receiving treatment in a new clinical study assessing the safety of an ultrasound ablation system developed by Toronto-based Profound Medical Inc. The multi-center study, entitled Transurethral Ultrasound Ablation (TULSA), is expected to enroll 30 patients and follow them for one year.

EDAP CEO Marc Oczachowski
American urologists show strong interest in HIFU
From the level of traffic at its booth to the "Best Poster" honors bestowed on two abstracts featuring its HIFU treatment for prostate cancer, focused ultrasound device maker EDAP TMS experienced a heightened level of interest and enthusiasm among physicians and others attending the 2013 meeting of the American Urological Association in May. Now in use in 29 countries, EDAP's prostate cancer treatment device – the Ablatherm – is awaiting regulatory approval in the U.S.
InSightec and Philips Healthcare provide updates via customer newsletters

In April 2013, InSightec launched its new customer newsletter, FOCUS, to strengthen communications and information sharing with its partners. The online publication will feature up-to-date news and reviews about latest developments, published papers, forthcoming conferences as well as interviews with physicians, recently published videos and other items of interest.

Philips Healthcare began distributing its Sonalleve MR-HIFU newsletter in September 2012 and has recently sent out the third issue. The newsletter expands upon articles that customers receive via e-mail.

10-year HIFU study shows high survival rates for prostate cancer patients
Physicians at Edouard Herriot Hospital in Lyon, France report that 1002 prostate cancer patients treated with EDAP's Ablatherm HIFU system experienced high rates of both cancer-specific and overall survival during a ten-year follow up period. Overall, the ten year cancer-specific survival rate was 97%. Stratified by risk group, the cancer-specific survival rate was 99%, 98% and 92% for men with low, intermediate, and high-risk disease, respectively. The overall metastasis-free rate was 94% and was 99%, 95%, and 86% for low, intermediate, and high-risk groups, respectively. Published online on May 1, 2013 by European Urology, the study is titled "Whole-gland Ablation of Localized Prostate Cancer with High-intensity Focused Ultrasound: Oncologic Outcomes and Morbidity in 1002 Patients."
Researchers addressing obstacles to treating liver with FUS
Because the liver shifts back and forth during breathing, it is difficult to accurately aim focused ultrasound beams during treatment. Overcoming this challenge without sedating patients with general anesthesia is the aim of FUSIMO, a software simulation project that involves 11 institutions from nine European Union countries. After two years, the project has reached an important milestone: Experts have produced software with which liver operations using ultrasound can be individually simulated for each patient. To determine how realistically the software performs, project experts are working with the Institute for Medical Science and Technology (IMSaT) at the University of Dundee and La Sapienza University in Rome.
Chinese researchers explore focused ultrasound for renal denervation
A study published on March 26, 2013 ahead of print in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology indicates that renal sympathetic denervation (RSD) delivered through high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) may be an alternative approach to managing resistant hypertension. Researchers at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University in Chongqing, China achieved promising preclinical outcomes using trans-abdominal HIFU (taHIFU) to perform catheter–based RSD.
Researchers file patent for FUS method that improves heart attack recovery
Researchers from the Bonn University Hospital in Germany have filed a patent application for a focused ultrasound method that reduces impairment of cardiac function after a heart attack. In the method, microbubbles are injected into the bloodstream following a heart attack. When the bubbles reach the heart, focused ultrasound causes them to oscillate and favorably impact cardiac sufficiency. Philips Healthcare collaborated in producing the dual ultrasound probe used in the method.

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Applications of focused ultrasound for non-invasive treatment of brain disorders (NeuroNews, May 16, 2013) – This article presents a neurological overview of focused ultrasound clinical studies and potential applications.
Surgery Without an Incision? It's Being Done (NBC-TV Chicago, May 14, 2013) – Jennifer, a participant in the Philips Sonalleve Fibroid Ablation (SOFIA) Study, discusses her experience a day after doctors at the University of Chicago treated her two fibroids, one the size of a grapefruit.
InSightec's Focused Ultrasound Shows Early, Positive Data for Essential Tremor (The Gray Sheet, May 6, 2013) – Coverage in this important industry publication spotlights the  promising data on focused ultrasound for essential tremor and recognizes the Focused Ultrasound Foundation's unique model for supporting research.
Focused Ultrasound Study (International Essential Tremor Foundation, TremorGram, May 2013) – This overview article describes focused ultrasound technology, its approved uses and the status of clinical studies for essential tremor.
U.Va. study shows focused ultrasound treatment reduced essential tremors (Richmond Times Dispatch, April 30, 2013) – Report covers highlights of final data for the essential tremor pilot study that was presented at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
Non-invasive brain surgery: an interview with Dr. Andres Lozano, University of Toronto (News, April 23, 2013) – In this Thought Leaders interview, Dr. Lozano describes the results of the focused ultrasound clinical studies at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, including the treatment of patients with essential tremor.

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October 10-11, 2013
2nd European Symposium on Focused Ultrasound Therapy, Rome, Italy
The symposium program will include scientific presentations and invited lectures on technological, pre-clinical and clinical applications of MR-guided focused ultrasound. Other aspects of the meeting will include lively group discussions, a poster session, walking tours and learning workshops devoted to clinical, technical, regulatory and reimbursement topics.


September 5-7, 2013
25th Conference of the International Society for Medical Innovation and Technology (SMIT), Baden-Baden, Germany. Abstract deadline: May 31, 2013


May 27–30, 2013
World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery, Tokyo, Japan
Discussions and presentations related to focused ultrasound are scheduled for Tuesday, May 28. First will be a breakfast seminar, entitled "High Intensity Focused Ultrasound," featuring Daniel Jeanmonod, MD talking about pain, Jin Woo Chang, MD discussing treatment of movement disorders and W. Jeffrey Elias, MD addressing tremor treatment. Later in the morning, Elias will present a talk, "MR-guided Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy for Essential Tremor - One Year Results."

At lunchtime, Chang will champion HIFU during a debate, "The Future of Ablative Neurosurgery."  Later, Nir Lipsman, MD will present, "Magnetic Resonance Guided Focused Ultrasound for Unilateral Thalamotomy in Medication Refractory Essential Tremor."

May 29–June 1, 2013
Interventional Oncology Sans Frontières (IOSF) "Creativity, Novelty and Clinical Excellence," Cernobbio, Italy

The IOSF Congress is targeted to interventional radiologists, diagnostic radiologists, medical oncologists, hepatologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, urologists, clinical researchers and other healthcare professionals interested in the field of Interventional Oncology. On Saturday, June 1, Professor Carlo Catalano of the University of Roma La Sapienza will present a featured lecture, "MR-guided focused ultrasound: a new era in intervention?"

July 13-14, 2013
The 1st Yangtze International Summit of Minimally-invasive and Noninvasive Medicine, Chongqing, China

Organized as a follow-up to the 1st International Summit of Non-Invasive Ultrasound Treatment in 2009, the Yangtze International Summit will cover topics such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA), transcatheter arterial embolization/ transcatheter arterial chemo-embolization (TAE/TACE) and HIFU therapy, including HIFU treatment for uterine fibroids and adenomyosis, liver, pancreatic cancer, and bone tumors. Discussions will include the formation of a professional society and promotional strategies. The summit is accepting abstracts for clinical and basic research using HIFU and ultrasound therapy for tumor and non-tumor diseases.

For more information about this program, contact Nick Yin of Chongqing Haifu Medical Technology Co., Ltd.

August 4-8, 2013
2013 American Association of Physicists in Medicine Annual Meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Members of the focused ultrasound community attending this meeting will not want to miss the Ultrasound Symposium on Tuesday, August 6.


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Questions and comments about this newsletter should be sent to Ellen C. McKenna (