News Flash: Brain Tumor Success


Focused Ultrasound Foundation Focused Ultrasound Foundation
Focused Ultrasound Foundation
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MARCH 10, 2014
Accelerating Brain Tumor Research
The Foundation has a comprehensive strategy in place to fast track the development of focused ultrasound to treat brain tumors. We have organized and funded three ongoing clinical trials using focused ultrasound:
First-line treatment for patients with metastatic brain tumors 
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto
Treatment for recurrent metastatic brain tumors 
- University of Virginia 
- Swedish Neurological Institute, Seattle

Delivery of chemotherapy directly to glioblastomas by opening the blood-brain barrier
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto

In addition to clinical trials, the Foundation also convenes experts and funds pre-clinical and technical research to overcome challenges in treating benign and malignant brain tumors.


World’s First Noninvasive Brain Tumor Treatment with Focused Ultrasound Thermal Ablation

We are pleased to report that a key landmark event in the evolution of focused ultrasound was achieved on March 4, 2014.

For the first time, focused ultrasound was successfully used in the treatment of a brain tumor.  The adult patient had a recurrent glioma, a portion of which was thermally ablated through the intact skull using InSightec's Exablate Neuro system. The procedure was performed to assess the feasibility and safety of focused ultrasound in treating brain tumors; it was not intended to demonstrate efficacy.

The treatment was conducted at the FUS Center of University Children's Hospital Zurich by a team led by Javier Fandino, M.D., Professor of Neurosurgery at Kantonsspital Aarau, Switzerland and Ernst Martin, M.D., Professor of Neuroradiology, University Children’s Hospital Zurich.

"The patient was awake and responsive during the treatment, and we were able to successfully target and destroy a part of the tumor located deep within the patient's brain. We are very encouraged that we could utilize focused ultrasound to accomplish this with no side effects or complications."

- Dr. Fandino

"The ability of focused ultrasound to accomplish both small lesions for functional neurosurgery as well as bulk lesions for tumor ablation is amazing," added Dr. Martin.

There is an urgent need for new approaches to treating brain tumors.  With its ability to noninvasively and accurately target and destroy diseased areas while sparing healthy adjacent brain tissue, focused ultrasound could be the breakthrough that patients and physicians have been waiting for.

“Treatment of this patient is the first critical step in the path to developing a new, noninvasive approach for patients with brain tumors that could serve as an alternative to surgery or radiation therapy,” said Neal F. Kassell, M.D., Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “Additional clinical trials to prove safety and efficacy are required to translate this milestone into a treatment that could improve the quality of life and longevity for countless individuals.” 

The Foundation applauds the work of the Swiss team. Brain tumors are a priority focus of the Foundation, and we have an aggressive multi-faceted research program in place to accelerate progress.

We look forward to keeping you informed of major accomplishments in the field.

Focused Ultrasound Foundation | 1230 Cedars Court, Suite F | Charlottesville VA | 22903