Blog

Profound Medical Hosts First Physician Education Event

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On July 23, Profound Medical hosted its first PRO-Talk Live event in Chicago. The event convened physicians using the company’s TULSA-PRO device and those interested in learning more about focused ultrasound. More than 70 attendees enjoyed panel discussions and guest speakers regarding cancer research and the ablation modality space.
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Veterinary Program Milestone: Focused Ultrasound Safely Treats Canine Tumors

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Key Points A Foundation-funded clinical trial determined that high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can safely ablate subcutaneous solid tumors in dogs.The veterinary research group, based at Virginia Tech, also found HIFU to induce anti-cancer immune system changes in the treated animals.This was the first trial funded by the Foundation’s Veterinary Program and supports our goal of offering innovative care to pets while also collecting data that can be beneficial for humans. A newly published clinical study from the veterinary research team at Virginia Tech determined that high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) appears to safely ablate targeted tissue for the treatment of subcutaneous solid tumors in dogs. The group also found HIFU to induce positive immune system changes in the tumor microenvironment of the treated animals. The trial, “High Intensity Focused Ultrasound for the Treatment of Solid Tumors: A Pilot Study in Canine Cancer Patients,” which was funded by the Foundation, enrolled 20 dogs. As published in the International Journal of Hyperthermia, the treated dogs had four different types of tumors, but most of them (15) had soft tissue sarcomas. Three dogs had mast cell tumors, one had an osteosarcoma, and one had thyroid carcinoma. “Treating companion animals that are diagnosed with cancer allows us to study the effects of focused ultrasound in a way that may also help humans with cancer,” said Nick Dervisis, DVM, PhD, the study’s principal investigator. “Dogs suffer from spontaneous malignancies just as people do. Unlike rodent models, which are developed from genetically homogenous animals raised in controlled environments, pet dogs mirror their human counterparts in genetic diversity and exposure to similar environmental influences. At the same time, their body size allows for medical device prototyping for use in people. This provides the opportunity to study cancer in a relatively simplified genetic background, and performing proof of principle, biomarker-intensive translational studies, accelerating the transfer of knowledge from the bench to the bedside.” The HIFU procedure, performed with Theraclion’s Echopulse device (which is also approved for human use), was generally well tolerated by the dogs, although one clinically significant adverse event (a skin burn) did occur. After three to six days post HIFU, the dogs underwent surgical removal of the treated tumors, and the research team collected tissue samples for histopathology and immune analyses. These analyses were used to confirm the degree of tissue ablation and levels of immune cell infiltration. Importantly, additional genetic analysis found that the expression of 28 different genes associated with immune system activation changed in the resected tissue after HIFU treatment. Future studies will focus on characterizing the HIFU-induced immunostimulatory changes over time and understanding the genetic component of the immune reactions that were observed. “This was the very first study funded by the Foundation’s Veterinary Program, and we are excited to continue to support additional clinical trials in companion animals,” said Kelsie Timbie, PhD, the Foundation’s Veterinary Program Director. “There has been an explosion of interest in veterinary trials in recent years, and I’m thrilled to see this important work getting the attention it deserves.” The study was funded by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the Grayton Friedlander Memorial Fund. See the International Journal of Hyperthermia > Learn More About the Benefits of Veterinary Clinical Trials > Related Stories Osteosarcoma Case Study – 2022 State of the Field August 2022 Virginia Tech Carilion (VTC) to Open Dedicated Focused Ultrasound Facility June 2021 Canine Patient Profile: Maddi Lynn April 2018 New Foundation Program Funds Veterinary Clinical Trials April 2018 Focused Ultrasound Foundation Launches Veterinary Program November 2017
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New Clues Emerge for Using Ultrasound-Assisted Immunotherapy to Treat Alzheimer’s Disease

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An Australian research team has published a study on the intricacies of ultrasound-assisted drug delivery for Alzheimer’s disease. They hypothesized that ultrasound in combination with an antibody would produce a greater therapeutic effect than either therapy alone. Combination treatment increased antibody delivery to the brain but did not further reduce disease pathology.
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Foundation Raises Funds for Mental Health

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During Mental Health Awareness Month this May, the Foundation team raised money for Mental Health America. Mental health is an important part of overall health, and this initiative supports the Foundation’s mission of promoting patient wellbeing.
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Clinician Researcher Receives NIH Grant for Focused Ultrasound Targeting Research Meeting Report: American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery (ASSFN) 2022 Focused Ultrasound Foundation and Children’s Tumor Foundation Partner on Neurofibromatosis Study Donor Profile: Sharon McBay Medicare Proposes Reimbursement Rate Increase for HIFU Prostate Treatments