July 2017 - Profound Medical Acquires Sonalleve and More …

July 2017

Toronto-based Profound Medical Corporation and Royal Philips have entered into a definitive agreement to expand their existing relationship and transfer Philips’ Sonalleve MR-HIFU business to Profound for a 12% minority interest in Profound. As it transitions from development-stage to growth, Profound will become the only magnetic resonance (MR) guided ultrasound company to provide bi-directional ablation capabilities.

 Foundation News

Webinar Highlights Research, Applications in Blood-Brain Barrier Opening

On July 11, Elisa Konofagou, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Radiology at Columbia University, spoke about the latest advances in FUS-induced blood-brain barrier (BBB) opening research and its many potential future applications. Brain disorders remain undertreated, in part due to the challenge of delivering drug therapies through the BBB. Konofagou is a leader in focused ultrasound and BBB research, hoping to unlock new treatments in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, brain tumors, psychiatric disorders, and more.



Register Now: Focused Ultrasound and Combination Cancer Therapies Webinar

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Please join us for a webinar Monday, July 24, with Chandan Guha, PhD, MBBS, to learn about the state of research using FUS in combination with other therapies for producing a powerful and sustained immune response to more effectively treat cancer. Dr. Guha is Vice Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.


Entrepreneur Bill Crutchfield Supported Foundation Vision from Beginning


A pioneer in consumer electronics retailing and online marketing and founder of the Crutchfield Corporation, Bill Crutchfield has received many accolades and honors over the years for his entrepreneurial vision and technological contributions. He is credited with the inspiration for creating the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, according to chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. Bill and his wife, Scheline, continue to support the Foundation through generous gifts and by introducing new supporters to the mission.


 Patient News


Cancer Research Institute Hosts Patient Summit Series


The Cancer Research Institute, a partner of the Foundation, kicked off their 2017 Immunotherapy Patient Summit Series with the first event in San Francisco on July 8. Geared toward patients and caregivers, the series of free events offer the chance to learn about the basics of cancer immunotherapy and the latest developments in cancer research.


HealthCare Business News: Q&A with Dr. Suzanne LeBlang

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Maria Rivlin, Vice President of Women’s Health at Insightec, interviewed neuroradiologist and the Foundation’s Chief Medical Officer, Suzanne LeBlang, MD, about using focused ultrasound to treat women with symptomatic uterine fibroids and her other activities at the Foundation. The interview appeared DOTmed Healthcare Business News.


 Research News

Parkinson's Dyskinesia Update – All Patients Enrolled

All patients have now been treated as part of the initial (pilot) trial investigating focused ultrasound for the treatment of dyskinesia associated with Parkinson’s disease. The graphic below provides a snapshot of this exciting clinical trial. The initial results are promising enough to warrant a larger, pivotal study that is currently being organized.

Read about two patients who are participating in this study:
Steve's Story >
Kimberly's Story >

Last Call: Apply for the $75,000 Lockhart Prize

The deadline for the first annual $75,000 Lockhart Prize is July 31. The cash award will be given to an investigator who demonstrates outstanding potential to contribute to advancing cancer treatment using focused ultrasound. The Andrew J. Lockhart Memorial Prize was established and funded by Andrew’s family and friends, with the hope that research can contribute to new therapies for solid cancers.

Apply or Nominate a Colleague by July 31 >

Meeting Update: WSSFN


The 17th quadrennial meeting of the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (WSSFN) was held June 26-29 in Berlin. Sample data from two key Foundation-funded studies were presented at the meeting, including the blood-brain barrier opening for Alzheimer’s disease, and the Parkinson’s dyskinesia study co-funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.


Foundation Funded Research Update – A Prototype System for BBB Opening


The initiation of human clinical trials using focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is due largely to the work of scientists like Dr. Elisa Konofagou and her team at Columbia University. This pioneering group recently completed a Foundation-funded study to create and test a next-generation BBB opening system that includes neuro-navigation and real‐time cavitation mapping. Their work enables the procedure to be completed outside of the MRI environment and begins to address the urgent need for treatment of central nervous system diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.


Research Roundup


Could the application of low-intensity pulsed focused ultrasound protect neurons from the toxins that cause Parkinson’s disease? Have scientists found an important clue to stop or slow recurrence of liver tumors after focused ultrasound ablation? Do nanoparticles lead to more efficient drug delivery? Find the answers in this month’s research roundup.


JTU Article of the Month – Ablating Benign and Malignant Breast Tumors


With an interest in comparing several newer and minimally invasive options for treating breast tumors, researchers at Kings College London performed a comprehensive review of ablative alternatives to surgery. Focused ultrasound, radiofrequency, laser, microwave, and cryoablation all may offer reduced complications, improved cosmetic outcome, and a shorter hospitalization. What is still needed to allow these technologies to be used in comparative clinical trials? See “Ablative Techniques for the Treatment of Benign and Malignant Breast Tumours” in the Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound.

Tell us about your research news for our next newsletter >
 Industry News

Essential Tremor: Focused Ultrasound is More Cost Efficient than Deep Brain Stimulation

The recently published work of a cost effectiveness healthcare outcomes research team caught the attention of Neurology Advisor, an online source for neurologic healthcare professionals to assist in making patient care decisions. The article shares results from a paper published in the journal Movement Disorders, and concludes that focused ultrasound is “significantly more effective and also significantly less expensive” than deep brain stimulation. Results are also compared to stereotactic radiosurgery


Theraclion Announces Several Milestones


Paris-based Theraclion has issued several recent press releases to announce notable company milestones. First, a new clinical trial for breast cancer treatment plus immunotherapy, co-funded by the Foundation, has been authorized by the FDA to begin enrolling patients at the University of Virginia. Also, their first half of 2017 fiscal report shows growth in commercialization, increased sales, and a record number of patients treated. Finally, Echopulse therapy for benign breast tumors has obtained reimbursement in France.

Tell us about your industry news for our next newsletter >
 Media Coverage
PZFlex 2017 Streamlines Device Optimization on PRWeb.com 7/13/17

New Ultrasound Techniques for Peering Inside Bony Structures on Phys.org 6/26/17

Elbit Imaging Ltd. Announces FDA Approval of Insightec's Phase I Clinical Trial for the Treatment of Neuropathic Pain on Baystreet.ca 6/26/17
 Upcoming Events
July 25, 2017 Focused Ultrasound and Potential New Technologies for Difficult to Control Seizures, Webinar - Register Online

July 30-August 3, 2017 59th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), Denver, CO (Includes an Ultrasound Symposium Workshop) 

August 5, 2017 Cancer Research Institute Patient Summit, Chicago, Illinois

September 6-9, 2017 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, Washington, DC

September 24-27, 2017 American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA

September 25-27, 2017 AdvaMed MedTech Conference, San Jose, CA

October 26-27, 2017 4th European Symposium on Focused Ultrasound Therapy, Leipzig, Germany (Abstract deadline extended through September)

See the full calendar and submit your event >