The University of Maryland School of Medicine recently announced that the first clinical trial of its kind in the United States will soon begin there. Led by neurosurgeon Graeme Woodworth, MD, the trial will investigate the use of focused ultrasound to disrupt the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in patients who are scheduled to undergo brain cancer surgery. The safety and feasibility study is a first step toward noninvasively treating these deadly cancers.
Francesco Prada, MD, joined the Foundation as a Merkin Scholar in July 2017. The Foundation’s first clinical fellow, Prada has performed more than 500 ultrasound-guided neurosurgical procedures. After relocating from the Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta in Milan, Italy, for the original 12-month appointment, Francesco has agreed to stay another year as the Foundation’s Brain Program Director. Read more about his work thus far and the future projects he has planned.
Now in its seventh year, the Foundation’s summer internship program welcomed seven students to complete a wide variety of projects. The group worked on everything from graphic design to the newly launched FUS Partners Program to more technical projects like 3D printed acoustic lenses and using software to automate research. Designed to foster interest in focused ultrasound technology among the next generation of researchers, the internship program was recently named in memory of Board of Directors member Charles Steger, PhD.
Focused ultrasound technology pioneer and entrepreneur Narendra (Naren) Sanghvi will receive the Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s 2018 Visionary Award. This honor, given every two years at our Symposium, recognizes an individual who has created a larger vision for what the future of focused ultrasound may hold and whose effort, passion, and persistence have been crucial to advancing the field.
Device manufacturer Insightec is hosting two events in September to educate essential tremor patients and their families about their focused ultrasound treatment called Neuravive. Those who are interested in participating and live in the Dallas or Chicago areas can learn more and sign up on their events page.
In a recent blog post, the Foundation’s Chief Medical Officer, Tim Meakem, MD, discusses common questions that he hears from patients about participating in a clinical trial. Using the pathway from trials to reimbursement for essential tremor treatment as a reference, Meakem offers his thoughts for those considering participating in the current pivotal trial for Parkinson’s disease.
The focused ultrasound research team at Yonsei University’s Brain Research Institute, which is led by Dr. Jin Woo Chang, recently published their encouraging one-year follow-up results from a phase I clinical trial of patients with medication-refractory Parkinson’s dyskinesia in the Journal of Neurosurgery. This is the first clinical trial in which a new target, the internal globus pallidus nucleus, was used.
Following the University of Maryland’s recent announcement that they are beginning the first US focused ultrasound clinical trial for patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), we interviewed the study’s principal investigator, neurosurgeon Graeme Woodworth, MD. He is researching the use of focused ultrasound to open the blood-brain barrier to provide treatment options for patients with brain tumors (both glioma and metastatic) and other brain diseases.
In July, we reported on the University of Oxford’s first-in-human clinical trial results of focused ultrasound-triggered drug delivery that could change the way liver cancer is treated. Constantin Coussios, PhD, the Director of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Oxford, led this impressive research. We asked Professor Coussios to tell us more about how he became interested in focused ultrasound, his current projects, and his plans for the future.
Online Therapeutic Ultrasound Course – MOOC – Available September 5
On September 5, the LabTau – in collaboration with the Foundation – will launch a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) dedicated to therapeutic ultrasound. Targeted toward physicians, students, and patients, the MOOC is comprised of 12 courses, including clinical cases and technical presentations, by experts recognized worldwide in the field. The MOOC will be free of charge and available online on the University of Lyon's educational platform Claroline.
The American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) held their 60th annual meeting from July 29 through August 2 in Nashville, Tennessee. Five focused ultrasound abstracts were selected for presentation. Washington University in St. Louis presented three of the five abstracts, with one in collaboration with Profound Medical. The others came from Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston and the University of Chicago.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have created a biological scaffold for tissue engineering and regeneration that is responsive to focused ultrasound-released growth factors. How is their design different from the scaffolds that are currently used? Meanwhile, scientists in Shanghai are determining whether focused ultrasound treatment of painful bone metastases could also improve quality of life for patients living with this disease.
With the goal of using Insightec’s Exablate prostate array to develop an MR thermometry-guided hyperthermia delivery platform, researchers at the University of California San Francisco conducted studies to determine whether the system could precisely control the temperature over time as well as the power deposition patterns and shape of the treatment region. If successful, this system could potentially provide hyperthermia therapy in combination with radiation, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy. Did it work? See Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound >
As Theraclion enters its 15th year of business, it is in the process of pursuing a new indication that proposes to give the company the financial stability it needs to take it into the next decade and beyond. Theraclion executives believe that using focused ultrasound to repair damaged veins is the key to the future of the company. We interviewed CEO David Caumartin to review Theraclion’s history, learn more about what the company is doing now, and hear about his exciting vision for the future.