Focused Ultrasound Clinical and Research Advances Highlighted at Symposium Media Event


The Foundation hosted a virtual media event on the first day of the Foundation’s 7th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound to educate top tier media from around the country on the use of focused ultrasound to treat conditions as diverse as Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and psychiatric disorders.

More than 2,000 reporters were invited to learn about recent advances in the technology from a select panel of researchers who prerecorded their presentations and then participated in a live Q&A with media moderated by the Foundation’s Chief Scientific Officer Jessica Foley, PhD. The briefing content was also shared on social media, reaching approximately an additional 1,000 people.

The Foundation would like to thank our presenters for their valuable participation in this event including Nobel Laureate James P. Allison, PhD, and the following:

  • Nir Lipsman, MD, PhD, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Canada, who spoke about using focused ultrasound to transiently open the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and use therapeutics to potentially treat brain tumors and metastases from other parts of the body.
  • José Obeso, MD, PhD, Centro Integral de Neurociencias, Madrid, Spain, who shared the use of focused ultrasound for two applications in Parkinson’s disease: 1) to open the BBB to enable delivery of therapeutic antibodies with the potential to halt the progression of the disease; and 2) to use high frequency focused ultrasound to allow targeted ablation of dysfunctional structures in the brain that contribute to the physical manifestation of the disease.
  • AeRang Kim, MD, PhD, Children’s National Hospital, Washington, DC, who highlighted a multidisciplinary team of interventional radiologists, oncologists, bioengineers, surgeons, radiologists, and anesthesiologists who are clinically translating the use of focused ultrasound to minimize side effects and increase efficacy to improve the care of pediatric patients with cancer.
  • Lynn Dengel, MD, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, who described a clinical trial combining focused ultrasound and immunotherapy drugs to treat metastatic or unresectable breast cancer in patients who have failed at least one prior therapy.
  • Rees Cosgrove, MD, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, who discussed progress in treating psychiatric disorders with focused ultrasound and the potential to reversibly explore new targets in the brain with sublethal, focused ultrasound application to apply focal neuromodulation (in nodes in the circuits that are implicated in the various disorders) to open the BBB and apply or infuse selective biologic agents.

Read Media Coverage from Physics World: “Focused Ultrasound Treatments Target Childhood Cancers” and “Focused Ultrasound Tackles Brain Tumours in a Myriad Ways.”

See a Recording of the Briefing >
Read a Transcript of the Event >
Learn More about the Media Event and the Symposium.