- The International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) annual meeting was held from June 6–9, 2021.
- The event was hybrid virtual and in-person, with the live portion taking place in Gyeongju, Korea.
- We thank Dong-guk Paeng, PhD, for this meeting summary.
The 2021 International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound annual meeting was held from June 6–9, 2021. It occurred in person for Koreans and virtually for internationals due to COVID-19 restrictions. A new record attendance of 475 attendees included about 175 participants in person in Gyeongju, Korea. It was amazing to see the chairpersons and speakers interacting in this live platform from all around the globe – even though in some time zones it was very early in the morning or late at night.
The first session of the first full day (Monday, June 7) started with an education session on ultrasound bioeffects by Zhen Xu, PhD, and cancer therapy of musculoskeletal tumors with focused ultrasound by Mathew Bucknor, MD. Then, detailed talks about therapeutic ultrasound and lithotripsy were given by Gail Ter Haar, PhD, and Larry Crum, PhD, respectively, in the following plenary session. The scientific sessions for physics and modelling were speedy, with six consecutive 6-minute talks followed by live Q&A and then another six talks with live Q&A. All the chairpersons and speakers participated in the live Q&A sessions. After lunch, there were twelve 10-minute talks immediately followed by live Q&A for each talk in the student award presentations. After coffee break, twelve 6-minute talks with two live Q&A were held for an Image-Guidance and Monitoring session as the last session of the day.
The second day started early with a student mentorship session followed by an education session on focused ultrasound—enhanced drug delivery and neuromodulation by Holger Grüll, PhD, and Seung-Schik Yoo, PhD, MBA, respectively. Fry award winner, Jin Woo Chang, MD, PhD, gave a comprehensive talk on the future perspective of MR-guided focused ultrasound in the brain for neurosurgery, and Lizzi award winners, Adam Maxwell, PhD, and Mario Fabiilli, PhD, gave talks about histotripsy and lithotripsy and tissue regeneration, respectively. Twelve 6-minute talks followed by two live Q&A were given in the brain therapy session. During lunch, fourteen 3-minute talks were given as student poster award speed talks. The neuromodulation session included eight 6-minute talks with two live Q&As. Ten 6-minute talks with two live Q&As were presented in drug delivery, and another ten 6-minute talks were included in the thermal focused ultrasound session, which was the last session for the second day.
The third day began with a women’s health education session by Suzanne LeBlang, MD, and a session on focused ultrasound—mediated immune response by Petros Mouratidis, PhD. There were twelve 6-minute talks with two live Q&As in the nonthermal focused ultrasound session and another twelve talks with two live Q&As in the emerging technologies and hardware session. In the afternoon, another session about other applications and a student award were followed by a debate session about transcranial ultrasound neuromodulation.
In addition to the live educational and awards sessions, there were exhibitor booths which included IMGT, Neurosona, Alpinion, and Insightec. The e-poster section highlighted innovative research with prerecorded three-minute presentations.