CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA and UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS – (January 19, 2021) Today, in an online event, the Focused Ultrasound Foundation named the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) as a Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence. UMC Utrecht is the fourth site to be designated Center of Excellence in Europe and the tenth worldwide.
Established in 2009, the Centers of Excellence program recognizes exceptional focused ultrasound sites throughout the world. The Centers serve as hubs for collaboration while bringing together academia, industry, and the Foundation to showcase focused ultrasound technology.
"It is a pleasure to recognize UMC Utrecht as one of the leading focused ultrasound sites in the world," said Focused Ultrasound Foundation chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. "The team exemplifies what it means to be a Center of Excellence – innovation, collaboration, and translation of research to the clinic, resulting in the commercialization of focused ultrasound technology. Their work will help this revolutionary, noninvasive technology reach countless more people in Europe and globally."
UMC Utrecht has been recognized for their innovative vision and for increasing the synergy among image-guided therapies – incorporating focused ultrasound, nuclear medicine, radiotherapy, radiology, and oncology into a single division.
By recognizing UMC Utrecht as a Center of Excellence and supporting their work, the Foundation will expedite the translation of image-guided focused ultrasound treatment modalities to the clinic. Current projects using focused ultrasound to treat bone metastases, breast cancer, and uterine fibroids. The team is also exploring focused ultrasound for targeted drug delivery, immunomodulation, and opening the blood-brain barrier.
"The Division Imaging and Oncology of UMC Utrecht is a worldwide leader in the field of image-guided diagnosis and treatment," said Jeroen Hendrikse, Professor of Neuroradiology and Chairman of the Division of Imaging and Oncology at UMC Utrecht. "One of the core competencies is MRI-guided high intensity focused ultrasound. We therefore consider it a tremendous honor to receive this recognition from the Focused Ultrasound Foundation since the Foundation has proven to be a powerful promoter of the translation of therapeutic ultrasound technologies to the clinic."
About Focused Ultrasound
Focused ultrasound uses ultrasound energy guided by real-time imaging to treat tissue deep in the body without incisions or radiation. It is FDA approved in the United States to treat essential tremor, tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease, uterine fibroids, pain from bone metastases, and the prostate. Dozens of additional indications are approved outside of the US. The technology is in various stages of research and development for more than 130 diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and tumors of the brain, liver, breast, and pancreas.
About University Medical Center Utrecht
UMC Utrecht is associated with Utrecht University, which was founded in 1636. Located in the heart of the Netherlands, it is one of Europe's leading research universities and recognized internationally for a high-quality, innovative approach to research and teaching. The University of Utrecht has a total student body of approximately 30,000 students and 12 Nobel prize winners. It is ranked first in the Netherlands, 16th in Europe, and 75th worldwide on the Shanghai Ranking. Utrecht University offers more than 90 graduate (MSc, MA) and 12 undergraduate (BSc, BA, LLM) programs. All classes are taught in English and cover a wide range of academic disciplines, including Natural Sciences, Law, Governance, Life Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences and Earth Sciences.
The image-guided therapeutic ultrasound group at UMC Utrecht is located within the Center of Imaging Sciences, where its researchers investigate magnetic resonance imaging-guided and ultrasound-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound for tissue ablation, and the direct and indirect therapeutic effects of ultrasound mediated molecular interventions, including image-guided drug delivery. Their main objective is the development and application of image-guided focused ultrasound therapies.
About the Focused Ultrasound Foundation
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation was created to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide by accelerating the development of this noninvasive technology. The Foundation works to clear the path to global adoption by organizing and funding research, fostering collaboration, and building awareness among patients and professionals. Since its establishment in 2006, the Foundation has become the largest nongovernmental source of funding for focused ultrasound research. For more information, visit http://www.fusfoundation.org.