November 2018 - NaviFUS Launches Brain Tumor Trial in Taiwan and More...

November 2018

NaviFUS Launches Brain Tumor Clinical Trial in Taiwan


Taiwan-based focused ultrasound manufacturer NaviFUS recently announced the start of its first clinical trial for glioblastoma. To date, three patients have been treated. Researchers at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital are investigating focused ultrasound to induce opening of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in patients with glioblastoma using optically guided, neuronavigational technology. The safety and feasibility study uses the company's proprietary system to noninvasively treat these deadly cancers.

 Foundation News

Virginia Business: Foundation’s FUS Partners Program Supports Start-ups

The current issue of Virginia Business features a four-page article – “Making Connections: Focused Ultrasound Foundation helps startups find investment and expertise” – on the Foundation’s new FUS Partners initiative. Launched in April, the program aims to foster relationships among focused ultrasound community members seeking assistance with financing, partnerships, technology transfer, and/or academic research opportunities. Based in Richmond, Virginia Business is a monthly publication and the state’s “source for business intelligence.”


Blog Post Highlights Focused Ultrasound for Pancreatic Cancer

Today marks World Pancreatic Cancer Day, and much is being done in the field of focused ultrasound to address the deadly disease. In a interview on our blog, Dr. Joo Ha Hwang of Stanford University recently spoke about his work over the past 18 years enhancing drug delivery using focused ultrasound to give these patients hope.


Foundation Board Member Andrew von Eschenbach Appointed to Two Healthcare Boards

Foundation Board of Directors member Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, was recently appointed to two important Boards – Bausch Health and the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. von Eschenbach will lend his experience as the former FDA Commissioner and former Director of the National Cancer Institute. Bausch Health is a global company dedicated to improving people's lives with their healthcare products. The Reagan-Udall Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization that works to advance regulatory science and the scientific mission of the FDA.



 Patient News

Meet Tammy: Patient Finds Relief for Chronic Neuropathic Pain

For Tammy, the hip pain started in 2010. She tried medications, surgeries, and nerve stimulator implants, but nothing alleviated her symptoms. Faced with an expensive radiation therapy, Tammy researched other options and stumbled upon the focused ultrasound trial at the University of Maryland. In September, she became the first patient to be treated there. 



Meet Judi: A Patient with Alzheimer's Is First Treated in US

Last month, we reported that the first patient had been treated in a US focused ultrasound clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease. A local news outlet interviewed Judi, a 61-year-old former nurse who had to stop working due to her disease. Learn more about the trial and why Judi says, “Memories are worth fighting for.”


 Research News

Results on Focused Ultrasound’s Impact on Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Patients Published in Neurology


Researchers at the University of Virginia have investigated the effects of focused ultrasound therapy on the quality of life of patients with tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease. The team used data from a Foundation-supported clinical trial, and their results were published last week in Neurology. The 27 patients in the trial reported improved quality of life at three- and twelve-months follow up. The original trial data were published in JAMA Neurology in November 2017.  

Media coverage: Daily ProgressNBC29, CBS19, UVA Health System


First US Trial of Focused Ultrasound to Treat Neuropathic Pain Begins


Last month, researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center became the first team in the US to treat neuropathic pain using noninvasive focused ultrasound therapy. Led by Dheeraj Gandhi, MD, the early-stage, pilot trial aims to establish the safety of destroying a small target in the brain to treat chronic neuropathic pain using Insightec’s Exablate Neuro device. 


Media coverage: PT Products Online, Radiology Business, News-Medical

Investigator Profile: Dheeraj Gandhi, MD


Dr. Dheeraj Gandhi has been involved in all aspects of clinical focused ultrasound work at the University of Maryland, with a specific focus on facilitating direct image-based targeting of brain structures using advanced MR techniques. He has been involved in more than 65 focused ultrasound procedures and is now Principal Investigator for the new clinical trial to treat neuropathic pain.



Meeting Report: IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium


More than 1,500 researchers from around the world attended the IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium October 22-25 in Kobe, Japan. The topics on focused ultrasound therapy included ultrasound-mediated drug delivery, neurostimulation, monitoring techniques, microbubbles and cavitation in ultrasound therapy, and new technologies to enhance ultrasound therapy. 


Meeting Report: Acoustical Society of America Fall Meeting


The 176th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) was held November 5-9, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. With an overall mission to generate, disseminate, and promote the knowledge and practical applications of acoustics, the meeting included several presentations of interest to the focused ultrasound community. Researchers from the Foundation were invited to present their recent simulation study that developed and validated algorithms for how ultrasound propagates through the skull. Additional topics in the program included blood-spinal cord barrier opening, blood-brain barrier opening, droplet vaporization for mechanical brain tissue ablation, additional simulation work, and much more.


Research Roundup


Have you read the new journal articles about using focused ultrasound to treat cardiac arrhythmias, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease? Recently published work by scientists from two focused ultrasound Centers of Excellence investigates a transesophageal application for cardiac ablation and describes the outcomes from preclinical studies that examine the effects of focused ultrasound on beta-amyloid in Alzheimer’s and on Lewy pathology in Parkinson's. 


For a full list of this month’s research, visit our free, online research library of focused ultrasound publications.

Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound to Close in January



The Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound (JTU) will close at the end of the year and is no longer accepting submissions. Launched in 2013 through a partnership between the Foundation and the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound, the JTU was the first open-access journal dedicated to the field. “The JTU served as an important bridge until mainstream journals adopted an open-access policy, and now it has fulfilled its purpose,” says Foundation chairman, Neal F. Kassell, MD. Moving forward, all articles will be archived and fully searchable.

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

EDAP Employees Raise Awareness to End Prostate Cancer

Employees at the Austin subsidiary of EDAP TMS recently participated in the Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk. Dubbed the "HIFU Fighters," the EDAP team raised awareness for the disease and Focal One, their noninvasive focused ultrasound treatment option for patients with the disease. Focal One earned FDA approval earlier this year. Zero is an organization dedicated to ending prostate cancer. 



Tell us about your industry news for our next newsletter >
 Media Coverage
American Council on Science and Health | What's The Blood-Brain Barrier & How Do You Cross It? 11/12/18

UroToday | MDACC 2018: Debate: Focal Therapy for Prostate Cancer 11/10/18

Health Imaging | Focused Ultrasound Method Releases Drugs Millimeters from Targeted Brain Areas 11/8/18

Science Daily | Ultrasound Releases Drug to Alter Activity in Targeted Brain Areas in Rats 11/7/18

Scientific American | Battling Alzheimer's through Better Access to the Brain 11/2/18

Physics World | Focused Ultrasound Opens the Blood-brain Barrier 10/31/18

Digital Journal | Focused Ultrasound Symposium Showcases Latest Advances in Noninvasive Therapy for Brain Disorders, Cancer, and Other Major Diseases 10/31/18

Health Imaging | Researchers Successfully Open Blood-brain Barrier with Focused Ultrasound in Alzheimer’s Patient 10/29/18

WV News | Historic Breakthrough: WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Team First to Use Ultrasound to Treat Alzheimer's 10/28/18

Sciworthy | A New Technique May Improve the Delivery of Medicine to the Brain 10/25/18

Healio | Top Hematology/Oncology Stories: Focused Ultrasound Could Transform Glioblastoma Treatment, App Helps Identify Melanoma 10/25/18

Market Insider | SonaCare Medical's CSO, Naren Sanghvi, Recognized by Prestigious Focused Ultrasound Foundation with 2018 Visionary Award 10/25/18

Business Wire | Theraclion Announces Presentation of Results in Benign and Malignant Breast Tumors 10/24/18

Radiology Business | MITA Cheers Inclusion of Medical Imaging Technologies in New Opioid Epidemic Bill 10/24/18

Cision Newswire | SonaCare Medical Gathers Global Thought Leaders of Focal Therapy for Prostate Cancer at 3rd Annual Sonablate User Group Meeting 10/24/18

Medscape | Thermal Ablation Approaches Similar in Efficacy for Benign Nodules 10/18/18
 Upcoming Events
November 20-21, 2018 Focused Ultrasound: a New Frontier for Brain Therapy / The 2018 Canada Gairdner Foundation International Symposium, Toronto, ON, Canada

November 23-25, 2018 4th Taiwan International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders (4th TIC-PDMD), Taipei, Taiwan

November 25-30, 2018 Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL

June 12-15, 2019 Ultrasound Energy - ISTU and EUFUS Joint Meeting, Barcelona, Spain
See the full calendar and submit your event >