Stanford Pioneer Named 2018 Symposium President


Focused ultrasound pioneer, Pejman Ghanouni, MD, PhD, will serve as the Honorary President of the 6th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound, to be held October 21-25, 2018 in Reston, Virginia.

“The field of focused ultrasound is still a tight-knit community, so to have the opportunity to gather and catch up on the latest advances and techniques is an invaluable experience,” says Dr. Ghanouni. “At the Symposium, we’re able to create collegial contacts who we can reach out to with questions as we broaden focused ultrasound’s impact into new indications. It’s an honor to be asked to be a part of the 2018 meeting.”

Dr. Ghanouni has an impressive clinical reputation in focused ultrasound at Stanford University. He currently treats two or three focused ultrasound patients each week, and estimates that he has treated more than 120 patients over his career. The majority of his clinical work has been for bone metastases, uterine fibroids, and essential tremor in adults. Also a pioneer in the pediatric arena, Dr. Ghanouni treats soft tissue tumors in children and teenagers and osteoid osteomas – benign but painful bone tumors.

He is collaborating with a multidisciplinary team at Stanford and a number of other institutions in the US on clinical trials to treat prostate cancer and to treat uterine fibroids to improve fertility. He hopes to begin a trial soon with colleagues in Psychiatry and Neurosurgery to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, and additional trials are being planned to use focused ultrasound to treat pancreatic cancer, pediatric brain tumors, and depression.

Beyond his clinical work, Dr. Ghanouni is a champion for focused ultrasound within Stanford as he works to bring departments together to make focused ultrasound an option for as many patients as possible.

“From the nurses to technologists, engineers and the administration, the team at Stanford has been supportive as we have introduced this new technology. Physicians here see focused ultrasound as a potential answer to unmet needs, and our engineers and physicists view focused ultrasound as an opportunity to see their research translate quickly to clinical care. I feel very fortunate to be a part of that collegial atmosphere.”

But Dr. Ghanouni also recognizes that if focused ultrasound therapy is going to take hold, others within the institution need to be able to treat patients.

“For years, I have been the one to do all of the focused ultrasound treatments at Stanford,” he says. “But that model limits the number of patients we can treat based on my schedule. Soon we’ll have other radiologists trained to complete the pediatric, brain and prostate treatments. This will not only mean that patients won’t have to wait as long to be treated, but it really is an essential step to the growth of this technology.”

“Peji is a model innovator for focused ultrasound. He is persistently working inside and outside of Stanford to knock down barriers to progress,” says Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. “His enthusiasm for the technology is only surpassed by his passion for helping patients.”

Dr. Ghanouni began his focused ultrasound career treating bone pain from metastatic cancer during a National Cancer Institute fellowship. His first eye-opening moment came in 2011, after treating his first bone patient – a farmer whose melanoma had spread to his hip. The pain had not responded to radiation treatment, and he could barely endure sitting down to meet with Dr. Ghanouni. Days after the focused ultrasound treatment, he was sitting normally; a few months later, he was riding his horse. “That was when I realized that we had an incredibly effective, non-invasive solution that could be applied to many challenging cases,” said Dr. Ghanouni. Read his 2015 investigator profile >

Stanford University was designated a Foundation Center of Excellence in July 2016. The Center is directed by Dr. Ghanouni and his colleague Kim Butts Pauly, PhD.

Plan to attend our Symposium – the world’s leading forum for sharing the latest translational and clinical advances in focused ultrasound. Targeted to scientists, clinicians, and other stakeholders, the meeting offers a multifaceted exploration of this emerging field and features plenary sessions, panel discussions, poster presentations, and technical exhibits. Symposium topics include neurological, oncological, musculoskeletal, women’s health, and emerging applications of focused ultrasound.