News Flash: Teen’s Pain Relieved Through Focused Ultrasound


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AUGUST 7, 2014
About Osteoid Osteomas

An osteoid osteoma is a small benign bone tumor that consists of a core of growing cells surrounded by a thick bony shell.  The condition occurs most commonly in males 10 to 35 years of age. Despite its small size – about 1 cm – the tumor is known to cause extreme pain that can be disabling. Osteoid osteomas affect from 10 to 40 individuals per 100,000, comprising 12% of benign bone tumors and 3% of all bone tumors.

Current Treatment
In previous decades, osteoid osteomas were treated with surgery requiring weeks of recovery.   Since the mid-1990s, minimally-invasive treatments have been used to heat and destroy the tumor using radiofrequency or laser energy delivered through a needle placed in the tumor using CT guidance.  While these approaches are safer than invasive surgery, they still carry risks, including radiation exposure, infection, burning of the surrounding tissue, and bone fractures resulting from the hole that remains following treatment.
Focused Ultrasound for Osteoid Osteomas

Focused ultrasound is being studied as a non-invasive treatment for osteoid osteomas, keeping the skin and surrounding bone intact, and greatly reducing the risk of infection. The use of MRI rather than CT guidance means the patient avoids exposure to radiation. The risk of bone fracture is also likely lower than in other treatments, and pain relief can be achieved rapidly with quick recovery.

A study conducted in Rome of 15 patients with osteoid osteomas demonstrated a significant improvement in pain up to 12 months after focused ultrasound treatment with no complications.


Images of patient with an osteoid osteoma of the finger before and after treatment with focused ultrasound. Images courtesy of Sapienza University of Rome.



First Pediatric Patient Treated with Focused Ultrasound in Canada
Relief for Teen with Painful Bone Tumor
Focused ultrasound was used to treat a benign bone tumor in the leg of a 16-year-old boy in Canada, providing quick relief from intractable pain.  The teen was the first patient in a clinical trial being conducted by physicians from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) using the Philips MR-guided Sonalleve system at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

"I can do more things now that I couldn’t do before without getting a jolt of pain" - Jack

Jack with his parents and Dr. James Drake, Lead of the Centre for Image-Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI) at SickKids

This first pediatric treatment is part of a clinical trial funded by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the SickKids Foundation to evaluate the feasibility, safety and preliminary efficacy of the technology in treating osteoid osteoma, an extremely painful, but benign, bone tumor in children and young adults. The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is supporting a total of 20 pediatric treatments at SickKids and two additional research sites.

“With high-intensity focused ultrasound, we are moving from minimally-invasive to non-invasive therapy, significantly reducing risk to the patient and fast-tracking recovery,” says SickKids interventional radiologist Dr. Michael Temple, who led the team that performed the surgery.

"For us, it was an overnight success" - Robin Shupe, Jack's mom

“We are extremely excited about the potential of focused ultrasound to free kids from their pain and get them back to their active healthy lives,” said Neal F. Kassell, MD, Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “This study fits perfectly with our mission to invest donor dollars to accelerate access to focused ultrasound for patients in need like Jack.”

The patient, 16-year-old Jack Campanile, and his parents share their story.

Dr. Temple provides a focused ultrasound technology demonstration.

Read the Press Release

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