Meeting Report: Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) 2022


Key Points

  • SIR held its 2022 Annual Meeting in Boston from June 11–16.
  • There were seven scientific presentations on focused ultrasound, and two manufacturers in the field participated.
  • A Foundation-sponsored reception and several educational sessions throughout the meeting focused on cultivating the next generation of interventional radiologists.

SIR held its 2022 Annual Meeting in Boston from June 11–16. More than 4,000 attendees from over 50 countries convened in person to share knowledge, network with colleagues, and learn about new developments in the field of IR.

“The educational sessions were incredibly important for increasing awareness in the IR community about the power of focused ultrasound,” said Suzanne LeBlang, MD, the Foundation’s Director of Clinical Relationships. “The technology is now becoming a part of the clinical life of interventional radiologists around the globe. Ablative technologies have long been used by interventional radiologists, and focused ultrasound is being used for various clinical indications. In many of the sessions, focused ultrasound was acknowledged as another potential method to perform ablation in addition to the standard of care procedures.”

Educational Sessions
One educational session dedicated to focused ultrasound was called “New Tools for the IR Toolbox.” It was led by Dr. Karun Sharma along with Dr. Alan Matsumoto from the University of Virginia (a past president of SIR) and included the following 15-minute-long presentations:

  • FUS: Introduction to technology, mechanisms, and applications by Suzanne LeBlang, MD, from the Focused Ultrasound Foundation
  • HIFU: Clinical Applications and Program Development by Pejman Ghanouni, MD, PhD, from Stanford University
  • Histotripsy: Current and Future Applications (Liver, Pancreas, Kidney) by Paul F. Laeseke, MD, PhD, from the University of Wisconsin
  • HIFU and Immune-Therapy and Immune-Oncology by David R. Brenin, MD, from the University of Virginia Medical Center
  • HIFU: Pediatric Applications: Current and Future Applications by Karun V. Sharma, MD, PhD, from Children’s National Hospital
  • FUS: Another Image-Guided Therapy for the IR Toolbox by Alan H. Matsumoto, MD, from the University of Virginia and Christoph A. Binkert, MD, FSIR, from Kantonsspital Winterthur (Switzerland)

Another educational session, “Hot Topics in Ablation,” featured focused ultrasound mechanisms for ablation with the following presentations:

  • HIFU Drug delivery by Jocelyne Rivera, BS, from Oxford University and National Institutes of Health
  • HIFU Musculoskeletal Interventions by Steven S. Raman, MD, from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles
  • HIFU in Pediatrics by Karun V. Sharma, MD, PhD, from Children’s National Hospital
  • Histotripsy Principles by Paul F. Laeseke, MD, PhD, from the University of Wisconsin
  • Histotripsy Translation into the Clinic by Fred T. Lee, Jr., MD, from the University of Wisconsin
  • Histotripsy Off Target and Systemic Responses by Irving “Coy” Allen, MBA, PhD, from Virginia Tech

“Dr. Coy Allen’s presentation on the ability of histotripsy to prime the immune system was groundbreaking,” said Dr. LeBlang. “His engaging talk summarized a May 2021 publication from Frontiers in Oncology titled, ‘Immunological Effects of Histotripsy for Cancer Therapy.’ This comprehensive review will likely pave the way for additional preclinical and clinical studies.”

A third educational session, “New Frontiers in Ablations” featured two presentations that included focused ultrasound:

  • Prostate Ablation (Laser, IRE, Cryo, HIFU) by David Woodrum, MD, PhD, from the Mayo Clinic
  • Histotripsy: Upcoming Technology by Paul F. Laeseke, MD, PhD, from the University of Wisconsin

Cultivating the Next Generation
The Foundation sponsored a cocktail reception for trainees and medical students to help increase awareness about focused ultrasound and provide an informal setting for trainees and students to meet clinical focused ultrasound practitioners and preclinical researchers. About 40 young professionals attended the reception, which included informal presentations by Dr. Matsumoto, Dr. LeBlang, and physicians from several focused ultrasound Centers of Excellence, including Pejman Ghanouni, MD (Stanford University), Karun Sharma, MD (Children’s National Hospital), and Natasha Sheybani, PhD (University of Virginia).

MedStu and Resident-Fellow Section (RFS)
“SIR is diligently working to cultivate the next generation of interventional radiologists,” said Dr. LeBlang. “Beyond our sponsored reception, the conference included nine “MedStu” educational sessions as well as dedicated sessions for the RFS. The focused ultrasound community will greatly benefit from these efforts.” The MedStu sessions that were tailored to these young professionals included

MedStu Introductory Track

  • Overview of Medical Student Programming and How to Make the Most of the SIR Annual Scientific Meeting by Varun Danda, BS, and Deepak Iyer, BS
  • Why IR? By Daryl Goldman, MD, Lindsay Young, MD, Maryam Boumezrag, MD, and Waseem Wahood, MS
  • IR Residency Match by Quinn Meisinger, MD, Jeffrey Weinstein, MD, FSIR, Nicole Lamparello, MD, and Zachary Bercu, MD
  • Biodesign Competition by Ryan Morrison, BS, and Rohan Patil

MedStu Advanced Track

  • Future of IR by Varun Danda, BS, and Subhash Gutti, BA
  • Global IR Initiatives for Medical Students by Kamil Bahit, Abdul Hamid Olushekun, MD, Jared Alswang, and Nevon Song
  • Introduction to Medical Student Programming by Varun Danda, BS, and Deepak Iyer, BS
  • IR Internship 101 by Varun Danda, BS, Geogy Vatakencherry, MD, FSIR, Rayan Abboud, MD, MS, Linzi Webster, MD, MBA, Ahmed Farag, MD, and Austin Shinagawa
  • IR Research by Paul Shyn, MD, and Emmy Hu, BS

Early Career Section
SIR has developed an Early Career Section (ECS) “to provide a platform in which members of SIR new to the practice of IR can develop a knowledge and resource base, network, participate in decision-making and serve as a resource to the SIR Executive Council.” ECS-specific sessions at this year’s conference included an opening welcome, a governing council meeting, and presentations on “Building Your Career,” “Diversity Matters,” “How to Build Your IR Practice,” “The Ins and Outs of Practice Management,” and “Pro Tips.”

The ECS “Diversity Matters” Session, which was coordinated by Yilun Koethe, MD, and Paul Rochon, MD, FSIR, included the following presentations:

  • Women in IR: Unique Challenges led by Natosha N. Monfore, DO, from Integris Baptist Medical Center
  • How to Advance and Prevent Stagnation Mid-Career led by Theresa Caridi, MD, FSIR, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Establishing Mentoring and Pipeline Resources led by Keith M. Horton, MD, from MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • Reporting Uncomfortable Situations led by Charles E. Ray, Jr., MD, PhD, FSIR, from University of Illinois Health and College of Medicine

Women and Diversity in IR
“The Women in IR InspIRed Lecture and Luncheon session was powerful,” said Dr. LeBlang. “Keynote speaker Melina R. Kibbe, MD, FACS, FAHA, the Dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Chief Health Affairs Officer for UVA Health, presented ‘Paths to Leadership for Women in Academic Medicine: Strategies to Overcome Real and perceived Barriers.’ The room was filled as she provided real-life solutions for professional women seeking to secure leadership positions.” Beyond the keynote luncheon, the conference included the following sessions that were directed toward women IRs:

  • Women in IR Governing Council led by Nishita Kothary, MD
  • Women in IR in the Arab World led by Rana Tarek M. Khafagy, MD
  • Women in IR: Unique Challenges led by Natosha N. Monfore, DO

Additional diversity offerings beyond the ECS session included a meeting of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee and sessions on “Physician-Driven Social Change: Diversity, Equity, Advocacy,” and “Physician Workforce Diversity: Why it Matters for Patient Outcomes.”

Industry Participation
Two therapeutic ultrasound manufacturers, Histosonics and Profound Medical, provided exhibitor booths at SIR, and research using these devices was presented in the scientific sessions.

Scientific Abstracts
Seven focused ultrasound—related scientific abstracts were presented, covering pancreatic cancer, tumor ablation, facet joint arthritis, liver ablation, and uterine fibroids. These abstracts are listed below.


  • So You Want to be an Academic IR? PhD K-Grant & NIH Early Investigator Awards by Natasha D. Sheybani, PhD


  • MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound and Nanomaterial-Based Treatment of Pancreas Cancer in a Rat Model: A Proof-of-Concept Study by Radha Vaddavalli, PhD, Venkateswara Gogineni, PhD, Michael Griffin, MD, PhD, Amanda R. Smolock, MD, PhD, Sean Tutton, MD, FSIR, FCIRSE, and Sarah B. White, MD, MS, FSIR, FCIRSE
  • Tumor Ablation (in the Interventional Oncology session) by Natasha D. Sheybani, PhD
  • A Comparison Study of Histotripsy and Cryoablation for Renal Ablation in a Porcine Model by Allison Couillard, MD, Meridith Kisting, Annika Rossebo, Emily Knott, Timothy Ziemlewicz, MD, Lindsay Stratchko, DO, Meghan Lubner, MD, Erica M. Knavel, MD, John F. Swietlik, MD, Paul F. Laeseke, MD, PhD, Jason Abel, MD, and Fred T. Lee, Jr., MD
  • Histotripsy vs. Microwave Ablation in the Liver: A Comparison Study in a Porcine Model by Emily Knott, Annie Zlevor, Louis Hinshaw, MD, Paul F. Laeseke, MD, PhD, Colin Longhurst, MS, Jenifer Frank, Charles Bradley, VMD, Allison Couillard, MD, Zhen Xu, PhD, Fred T. Lee, Jr., MD, and Timothy Ziemlewicz, MD


  • MR-Guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound for Symptomatic Facet Joint Arthritis: A Retrospective Study of 65 Patients by Daniel Duex, MD, Prof. Dr. med. Markus Duex, Prof. Dr. med. Christian Stroszczynski, and PD. Dr. med. Lukas Beyer

Women’s Health

  • Histotripsy for the Treatment of Uterine Leiomyomas: A Feasibility study in ex vivo Uterine Fibroids by Alex Simon, Faith Robinson, MD, Anthony Anzivino, MS, Maggie Boyer, Alissa Hendricks, PhD, Danielle Guilliams, James Casey, MD, Douglas Grider, MD, Fidel Valea, MD, and Eli Vlaisavljevich, PhD

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Next Meeting
SIR 2023 will be held March 4–9, 2023, in Phoenix, AZ.