- Researchers at VeinSound, a French company, tested their device for treating varicose veins.
- A study at Ohio State University may allow a larger area of the brain to be treated with focused ultrasound and help patients with severe cancer pain.
Noninvasive Varicose Vein Treatment
For patients with varicose veins, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) may offer a safe, noninvasive, nonsurgical treatment alternative with fewer side effects than currently available therapies. Although unusual, medical complications from untreated varicose veins can include bleeding, painful skin ulcers, or even blot clots deep in the veins. A foundation-funded research study on this topic has recently been completed by scientists at VeinSound, SAS, a new company in France that is dedicated to developing this technology. VeinSound, in collaboration with LabTAU (Lyon, France), performed a preclinical feasibility study for their novel device. The goals of the project, entitled “HIFU Varicose Vein Treatment using VeinSound Device,” were to use the device to apply HIFU to four saphenous veins in a large animal model, test its vein occlusion capabilities, and then evaluate the effects of the therapy on the treated tissue. The team determined that the optimal dose to reduce vein diameter was 60 joules over four seconds, which reduced the diameter of the vein by 84 percent. Additional observations were made to improve safety, optimize treatment dose, and fine tune the overall design of the system.
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Expanding the Focused Ultrasound Brain Treatment Envelope
Research physicians at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center recently completed a Foundation-funded research project to expand the focused ultrasound brain treatment envelope. The project, titled, “Cingulate Gyrus Access with Focused Ultrasound Ablation,” sought to determine whether the Exablate system could reach the anterior cingulate gyrus region of the brain. This area was chosen because it is a common site for treating pain in patients with advanced types of cancer. Neurosurgeons often use ablative procedures to improve pain or provide relief when transporting patients from one setting to another. The preclinical study was performed by Brian Dalm, MD, James Mossner, MD, and Francesco Sammartino, MD, who determined that the Exablate device could reach the anterior cingulate gyrus. However, they suggested performing additional preclinical studies to determine the optimal frame position, which likely varies by head size and shape. These results could then be translated to a clinical trial with terminally ill cancer patients who are scheduled to undergo cingulotomy for uncontrolled cancer-associated pain.
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