February 2018 Research Roundup


In addition to the special issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery, several other papers are important to note this month. A clinical trial for neuromodulation of the thalamus was conducted at the University of Minnesota, opening the door for brain mapping with focused ultrasound. Physicians share their clinical experience using focused ultrasound to treat various types of pediatric tumors. Patients with cancer pain may soon benefit from a multi-modality approach developed through an international collaboration.


Neuromodulation with Single-element Transcranial Focused Ultrasound in Human Thalamus.
With implications for functional brain mapping and target verification prior to thermal ablation, scientists at the University of Minnesota conducted a successful human clinical trial performing neuromodulation in the sensory area of the thalamus. See Human Brain Mapping.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging-guided High-intensity Focused Ultrasound Applications in Pediatrics: Early Experience at Children’s National Medical Center.
The review article from this pioneering group describes focused ultrasound as an especially attractive therapy for growing children. After an introduction to the technology and the clinical experience in adults, the group describes their early institutional experience to treat symptomatic benign, locally aggressive, and metastatic tumors in children and young adults. The article includes limitations and challenges encountered in treating pediatric patients, as well as potential future applications. See Topics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging: TMRI.

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound for Pain Management in Patients with Cancer.
Radiologists at Sapienza University of Rome and Stanford University collaborated to develop a multimodality approach to treating patients with malignant diseases. The combination therapy aims to facilitate pain palliation, enhance local drug delivery and the effects of radiation therapy, and stimulate anticancer specific immune responses to potentially facilitate local tumor control. See Radiographics.

Vertical Full Colour MendeleyFor a full list of this month’s research, visit our free, online research library of focused ultrasound publications.