The Focused Ultrasound Foundation has produced a video that demonstrates the potential of this new medical technology to revolutionize the treatment of many serious disorders. The short film captures the experience and insights of patients, international researchers, physicians, industry leaders and other supporters of this “breakthrough transformational approach.”
“We created this video to give a face and a voice to focused ultrasound, and to encourage the public to support this treatment,” says Neal Kassell, MD, Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “We are grateful to the patients who shared their medical challenges and triumphs thanks to this new approach. We also salute the researchers and clinicians around the globe who are working tirelessly to help advance this treatment so that as many patients as possible can benefit as soon as possible.”
The video features the story of Rick – a patient who felt embarrassed and inadequate because of his tremor. Rick’s outlook was transformed following focused ultrasound treatment at the University of Maryland. The video shows his challenges with conducting simple tasks, chronicles his treatment and captures him drinking steadily from a glass of water just minutes after the procedure – for the first time since childhood. “Focused ultrasound can give someone a new lease on life,” he states.
Other patients profiled include:
- Kimberly – a woman with Parkinson’s who is able to get back on her bike after treatment in a clinical trial
- Jack – a teenager who is able to play sports again thanks to the non-invasive treatment that eliminated pain caused by a bone tumor
- Elizabeth – who regained her freedom after seeking relief from fibroid symptoms.
“Focused ultrasound treatment has given me back my life – it is a miracle,” says Parkinson’s patient Kimberly.
The 8-minute video also includes 15 experts talking about the potential of focused ultrasound from luminary institutions like Stanford, the University of Virginia, Children’s National Medical Center and Sapienza University of Rome. Animation is used to demonstrate how beams of sound that harmlessly penetrate healthy tissue can be focused to treat a target deep in the body without incisions or other risks of traditional surgery. The therapy has the potential to transform treatment for a range of conditions, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, hypertension and brain tumors.
Former NCI Director and Commissioner of the FDA Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, urges viewers to take action to support the technology. He closes the video with the statement, “Nothing happens in society unless people want it to. So when people stand up and say ‘we want this,’ then we will do it.” The Foundation believes that seeing this incredible potential will empower people to advocate for progress.
About Focused Ultrasound and the Foundation
Focused ultrasound uses ultrasonic energy guided by real-time imaging to treat tissue deep in the body without incisions or radiation. Multiple intersecting beams of ultrasound are directed and concentrated on a target, much like a magnifying glass can focus multiple beams of light on a single point. Where each individual beam passes through the tissue, there is no effect. But, at the focal point, the convergence of focused ultrasound energy results in many important biological effects depending on the nature of the tissue and the ultrasound parameters.
Today, focused ultrasound is approved in the United States to treat uterine fibroids, reduce pain from bone metastases and treat the prostate. Different systems are approved to treat 16 diseases in regions around the world. The technology is in various stages of research and development for more than 50 diseases, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, hypertension, and tumors of the brain, liver, breast and pancreas.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is a non-profit research, education and advocacy organization founded to accelerate the development and adoption of focused ultrasound to improve the lives of countless individuals with serious medical disorders. Learn more at www.fusfoundation.org.