“The most important book I’ve ever written,” says Grisham
Charlottesville, VA, – January 26, 2016 – Bestselling author John Grisham has written The Tumor, a fictional account of how a real medical technology could impact the future of medicine. The short book is about focused ultrasound, a revolutionary non-invasive therapy with the potential to transform the treatment of a variety of serious medical disorders. The Kindle e-book is available for free on Amazon.
“It’s the most important book I’ve ever written,” says Grisham. “Everyone who is concerned about their health and loved ones should read The Tumor to learn about a breakthrough medical technology. I have found no other cause, issue, or charity that can potentially save so many lives.”
The Tumor follows the experience of the fictional patient Paul, an otherwise healthy 35-year-old father who is diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Despite receiving current state-of-the-art treatment of invasive brain surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, he passes away nine months after his diagnosis.
Grisham then takes readers to an alternate future, where Paul is diagnosed with the same brain tumor at 35 years old in the year 2025. In this future, doctors utilize focused beams of ultrasound energy to destroy Paul’s tumor without cutting into his skull. They then refocus the ultrasound to the surrounding brain to activate nanoparticles that deliver high concentrations of chemotherapy to the brain while minimizing systemic side effects. Paul is able to go back to his busy life after these procedures. The tumor returns a couple of times, and he is retreated with the same approach. While the tumor will eventually take Paul’s life, focused ultrasound therapy could transform a fatal condition into one that is chronic, but manageable.
“John has been a board member and steadfast supporter of our Foundation for years. We are fortunate to have such a noteworthy advocate helping to spread the word about this game-changing therapy,” said Neal F. Kassell, MD, Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “He wants to help ensure that focused ultrasound is part of our future. Though in its infancy, there is great potential for this technology to improve quality of life and decrease cost of care. But progress is too slow, and we want to help make it available sooner to help as many people as possible.”
Grisham wrote The Tumor to raise awareness and funds to help the Focused Ultrasound Foundation to accelerate the development and adoption of the technology to improve the lives of millions of people with serious medical disorders. While the book is free, he encourages the public to support the Foundation’s programs for research, education and advocacy. More information, including other ebook formats, can be found at www.thetumor.org.
John Grisham joined Dr. Kassell onstage at TEDxCharlottesville to explain why he became involved in focused ultrasound and his role as a storyteller in helping to spread the word with his short book. The story transformed from fiction to reality when a Parkinson’s patient who had been disabled with uncontrollable shaking ran onstage and shared how her participation in a focused ultrasound clinical trial transformed her life. The talk can be seen here.
About Focused Ultrasound and the Foundation
Focused ultrasound uses ultrasonic energy guided by real-time imaging to treat tissue deep in the body without incisions or radiation. Multiple intersecting beams of ultrasound are directed and concentrated on a target, much like a magnifying glass can focus multiple beams of light on a single point. Where each individual beam passes through the tissue, there is no effect. But, at the focal point, the convergence of the beams of focused ultrasound energy results in many important biological effects depending on the nature of the tissue and the ultrasound parameters.
Today, focused ultrasound is approved in the United States to treat uterine fibroids, reduce pain from bone metastases and treat the prostate. Different systems are approved to treat 16 diseases in regions around the world. The technology is in various stages of research and development for more than 50 diseases, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, hypertension and tumors of the brain, liver, breast and pancreas.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is a non-profit research, education and advocacy organization founded to accelerate the development and adoption of focused ultrasound to improve the lives of countless individuals with serious medical disorders. Learn more at www.fusfoundation.org.