November 2017 - Workshop Creates Roadmap for FUS and Psychiatric Disorders and more...

Workshop Creates Roadmap for FUS and Psychiatric Disorders
November 2017

Together with Sunnybrook Research Institute, the Foundation recently co-hosted a workshop in Toronto to create a roadmap of studies leading to new treatments of psychiatric conditions using focused ultrasound. The group discussed the state of the technology, past studies, current challenges, and future preclinical and clinical research directions for using focused ultrasound to treat or modulate psychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression.

 Foundation News
New Grant Program for FUS Cancer Immunotherapy Projects


As a key component of the Foundation’s partnership with the Cancer Research Institute, we have established a grant program to jointly fund research projects that will help move the field toward new focused ultrasound and cancer immunotherapy combination treatments. This first request for proposals seeks preclinical projects relating to how different “modes” of focused ultrasound compare in terms of the immune response generated, and how this immune response correlates with biological, acoustic, and imaging metrics.


Foundation Launches Veterinary Program, Announces Canine Cancer Trial

In conjunction with National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, the Foundation recently announced its veterinary program to study the use of focused ultrasound for the treatment of animals. The initiative could ultimately enable veterinarians to offer state-of-the-art therapies, while collecting data necessary to accelerate the technology for human applications. The program’s first study at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine will use focused ultrasound to treat soft tissue tumors in dogs.


John Grisham To Appear at CES 2018


In January, bestselling author and Foundation Board member John Grisham will join Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD, at CES 2018 (Consumer Electronics Show)®. The pair will discuss The Tumor with Gary Shapiro, the president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association. Called “The Global Stage for Innovation,” CES convenes 170,000 industry professionals and features more than 4,000 exhibits. 


Blog Post Explores Value of Patient Engagement

The latest post examines recent activities by the FDA and others to promote the inclusion of patient input into regulatory decisions and clinical trial design. Could this new patient-centered approach be beneficial for non-invasive treatment options like focused ultrasound?


Foley Discusses Future of Medical Devices on FasterCures Panel


The Foundation’s Chief Scientific Officer, Jessica Foley, PhD, recently served as a panelist discussing the future of medical devices at an event hosted by FasterCures and the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. The event preceded the larger Partnering for Cures meeting in San Francisco. 


 Patient News

Two Years and Countless Miles Later: Parkinson’s Patient Update


Just 10 weeks after Kimberly Spletter underwent focused ultrasound treatment for the dyskinesia – or involuntary movements and shaking – associated with her Parkinson’s disease, she bravely shared her experience at TEDx Charlottesville. She recalled going from a wheelchair to running a 5K race in just a few short weeks. Since then, more than 55,000 people have watched Kimberly’s inspiring talk. Now, two years later, Kimberly talks about that experience and her life today. 


 Research News

Parkinson’s Research Progress Report: Preliminary Results Published, Pivotal Study Approved

Researchers have achieved two milestones in clinical studies testing focused ultrasound to reduce either the tremors or dyskinesia associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Tremor: Preliminary Pilot Study Results Published
Investigators have published encouraging preliminary results from a pilot study using focused ultrasound to treat patients with tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease in JAMA Neurology.

Dyskinesia: FDA Approves Pivotal Clinical Trial
Insightec has announced a new clinical trial will open in 2018 for patients 
who suffer from Parkinsonian dyskinesia.

Funding Available for Cancer Moonshot Research

The National Cancer Institute is now posting funding opportunities for research that aligns with the mission of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. The opportunities may be supported with existing funds or with the 21st Century Cures funding, and all publications and data resulting from the funding are to be shared. 


Meeting Report: EUFUS 2017


Clinicians, scientists, and international focused ultrasound experts gathered in Leipzig last month for the 4th European Symposium on Focused Ultrasound Therapy. The agenda included a pre-conference workshop on experimental principles and techniques and two days of presentations and panel discussions, during which more than 50 abstracts were presented.


Meeting Report: Japanese Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound


The 16th Annual meeting of Japanese Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (JSTU) was held at Hokkaido University October 28–29. Attending on behalf of the Foundation, former Merkin Scholar Dong-guk Paeng, PhD, presented data on the transcranial focused ultrasound research projects that he completed during his fellowship. 


Research Roundup


Focused ultrasound was FDA approved to treat essential tremor in July 2016. To improve the procedure, treatment teams are evaluating the effectiveness of current techniques and studying new methods for choosing, targeting, and confirming ablation sites. Meanwhile, researchers in Italy explore how often focused ultrasound can be safely and effectively repeated for glaucoma. Also, Seattle-based Kona Medical’s phase II, randomized, sham-controlled clinical trial for hypertension failed to find effective parameters. 


JTU Article of the Month – FUS-Induced Drug Delivery in Liver Tumors



Clinical Trial Protocol for TARDOX: A Phase I Study to Investigate the Feasibility of Targeted Release of Lyso-thermosensitive Liposomal Doxorubicin (ThermoDox®) using Focused Ultrasound in Patients with Liver Tumours

To test the feasibility of using focused ultrasound to provide targeted delivery of doxorubicin to liver tumors, Constantin C. Coussios, PhD, and researchers at the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals have designed a clinical trial using focused ultrasound hyperthermia to trigger release of the encapsulated chemotherapy agent. Patients will receive a cycle of ThermoDox followed by ultrasound-mediated hyperthermia, in hopes of increasing the medication’s concentration in the tumor. Patients are currently being enrolled.

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

Focused Ultrasound Device Earns Top Medical Technology Award


Insightec’s Exablate Neuro was named Best Medical Technology at the 2017 Prix Galien USA Awards. The Galien Foundation annually honors outstanding biomedical and technology products designed to improve human condition. Products had to have earned FDA approval within the last five years before being judged by the selection committee, which included four Nobel Laureates. In 2016, another focused ultrasound device, EDAP’s Focal One, received the Prix Galien.  


Glaucoma Treatment Approved in China


French company Eye Tech Care recently received approval from the China Food and Drug Administration to market its EyeOP1 glaucoma treatment there. Having treated more than 5,000 patients, the focused ultrasound system is the first non-invasive device approved to treat the more than 22 million people affected by glaucoma in China, where it is the second most common cause of blindness. 


Profound Medical Now Testing Treatment of BPH in Germany


Profound Medical’s TULSA-PRO device is now being investigated to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in Germany. The technology combines MR imaging with directional (inside-out) and focused (outside-in) ultrasound technology, and could offer a significant improvement over traditional BPH treatments. The Canadian company’s device already has the CE Mark, and a clinical trial is underway, which if successful, is expected to support its application for FDA approval. 


Comment Period Open for FDA’s Breakthrough Devices Program


December 26 is the deadline for submitting public comments on the FDA’s recently published draft guidance on Breakthrough Devices. The draft guidance document describes the policies the agency intends to use to implement the Breakthrough Devices Program, a part of the 21st Century Cures Act that expands the Expedited Access Pathways (EAP) program by making future 510(k) applications eligible along with Premarket Approval applications and De Novo device submissions. All participants previously granted EAP designation will have designation as Breakthrough Devices.


Tell us about your industry news for our next newsletter >
 Media Coverage
UVA Tests Power of Focused Ultrasound, Immunotherapy to Battle Breast Cancer on UVA Today 11/8/17 (Also see coverage by NBC29 and DOTmed)

New Treatment to Remove Benign Tumors in Women's Breasts Without Surgery on 11/8/17

Anonymous Donor Pledges 10 Million to Charlottesville-based Ultrasound Foundation on The Daily Progress 11/2/17 

Unique Approach: New Generation Smart Drug Delivery Carriers on R&D Mag 10/26/17

Theraclion Makes Substantial Progress Toward Market Access for Echopulse® in the US on BusinessWire 10/26/17 

HIFU Delivers Breakthrough Treatment for Prostate Cancer on NEWSMAX Health 10/26/17

Utilizing Imaging to Avoid Surgery and Treat Uterine Fibroids on 10/18/17
 Upcoming Events
November 26-December 1, 2017 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL

December 4-8, 2017 174th Meeting - Acoustical Society of America, New Orleans, LA 

December 9, 2017 Cancer Research Institute's Immunotherapy Patient Summit, Tampa, FL

January 8-11, 2018 JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, San Francisco, CA

January 9-12, 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas, NV

January 27, 2018 Cancer Research Institute's Immunotherapy Patient Summit, Houston, TX

See the full calendar and submit your event >
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