Meeting Report: International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound & European Focused Ultrasound Charitable Society Joint Meeting


The joint meeting of the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) and the European Focused Ultrasound Charitable Society (EUFUS) was held in Barcelona from June 13-15, 2019. The Foundation supported the meeting, which was ISTU’s 19th Annual International Symposium for Therapeutic Ultrasound and the 5th European Symposium of EUFUS. The meeting drew over 480 international participants from 33 counties with an interest in therapeutic focused ultrasound applications. Several representatives from the Focused Ultrasound Foundation participated in the program, met with industry representatives, and formed numerous collaborations. Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD, spoke during the Horizon/Jolesz Lecture, and Director of Clinical Relationships, Suzanne LeBlang, MD, participated in a panel.


Meeting highlights included:

  • A presentation by Storz Medical describing their new neuromodulation device for treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • A novel device, developed by Cardiawave, to treat aortic calcification. See “A new therapeutic device for transthoracic treatment of calcified aortic stenosis” in the abstract book, linked below.
  • Cumulative data from ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound treatment of uterine fibroids from international treatment centers.
  • Many advances in immuno-oncology. See “How did immuno-oncology move from humble origins to become the dominant force in cancer therapy? An overview of progress in cancer immunology” by Elizabeth Respasky in the abstract book, linked below..
  • An abstract on the use of focused ultrasound to treat chronic urinary tract infections by directly administering antibiotics (gentamicin) to the submucosal layer of the bladder. See “Microbubble-mediated intracellular drug delivery for recurrent urine infections” in the abstract book, linked below.
  • A new abdominal histotripsy device developed by Verasonics. See “A prototype system for boiling histotripsy in abdominal targets comprising a 256-element spiral array combined with a power-enhanced Verasonics engine” in the abstract book, linked below.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound applications for gastric treatments.
  • Researchers in Valencia, Spain have developed a new method for printing 3D lenses. See “Improved numerical method for the design of 3D printed acoustic lenses for the correction of transcranial focused ultrasound aberrations” in the abstract book, linked below.
  • The identification of a new brain lesioning target in the zonae interna, which has the potential to provide a bilateral treatment effect in patients with essential tremor.
  • Meetings with manufacturers to learn about their recent growth, including Chongqing Haifu and Profound Medical.
  • The use of focused ultrasound in thermogenetics to activate gene therapy.
  • Seeing old and new friends from around the world.

ISTU/EUFUS Joint Meeting Abstract Book >

“The combination of ISTU and EUFUS was a huge success, highlighting that even since our last Symposium in October 2018, there has been tremendous growth and progress,” said Suzanne LeBlang, MD, the Foundation’s Director of Clinical Relationships. “The invited lectures, oral research presentations, and posters confirmed the increasing numbers of commercial treatments throughout the world, revealed interesting new applications in clinical protocols, and reported exciting new areas of research across many different fields. There were also many new technical and clinical developments that are leading to more effective and safe treatments for patients suffering from a variety of diseases.”

The following awards were given at the symposium:

  • FRY AWARD: Towards an increased clinical impact of focused ultrasound – Chrit Moonen
  • LIZZI AWARD: Exploding droplets and singing bubbles in therapeutic ultrasound – Kevin Haworth; A healthy future for focal conformal therapeutic ultrasound – W. Apoutou N’Djin
  • PIONEER AWARD: Leonid Gavrilov

ISTU was established in 2001 to foster the diffusion of knowledge concerning the scientific and clinical aspect of therapeutic ultrasound.

EUFUS is a research and education organization serving as a philanthropic forum to establish research funding, share experiences, review best practices, and promote cooperation in the field of focused ultrasound for better patient treatment.