Chang performs world's first focused ultrasound treatment for OCD
OCD patient and clinical trial team following ground-breaking focused ultrasound treatment at Yonsei University Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea.
One of the most distinguished neurosurgeons in South Korea and the Asian Pacific region, Jin Woo Chang, MD, PhD achieved an extraordinary first this month by using transcranial focused ultrasound to treat a patient with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), an anxiety disorder that afflicts between one and three percent of the teen-through-adult population.
"This is an extremely important milestone in the evolution of focused ultrasound," observes Focused Ultrasound Foundation Chairman Neal Kassell, MD. "It is the first step in developing a noninvasive alternative to brain surgery for certain patients disabled by OCD. If this study and subsequent trials confirm the safety and efficacy of focused ultrasound in treating OCD, it may be possible to improve the quality of life for large numbers of desperately ill patients and may lead to new treatments for depression and other psychiatric conditions." Read more >
FDA approves protocol for Phase III Essential Tremor Clinical Trial
Foundation-funded pilot studies in U.S. and Canada laid groundwork for new study
Essential tremor patient Tony Lightfoot shows his steady hand following treatment in a Foundation-funded clinical trial at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Canada. The Sunnybrook study helped lay the groundwork for the soon-to-start pivotal trial. (Photo provided by Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.)
InSightec Ltd. announced on February 19, 2013 that the U.S. food and Drug Administration has approved the protocol for its pivotal Phase III clinical trial for treatment of essential tremor using the company's ExAblate Neuro system.
Intended to provide the safety and efficacy data needed for FDA pre-marketing approval, the multi-center study is expected to begin in mid-2013 and will be led by University of Virginia neurosurgeon W. Jeffrey Elias, MD. Read more >
Focused ultrasound treatments for prostate cancer coming to the U.S.?
EDAP files PMA seeking FDA approval of its Ablatherm HIFU system
French ultrasound device maker EDAP TMS has submitted a Premarketing Approval (PMA) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The company is seeking clearance to sell its Ablatherm HIFU system in the U.S. for use in treating low risk, localized prostate cancer.
Approved in numerous markets, the Ablatherm has treated more than 35,000 prostate cancer patients in Europe, Canada and Latin America and in many Asian countries. Ten-year data shows that 83% of patients had no biopsy evidence of disease following noninvasive, radiation-free Ablatherm treatment. Read more >
As Essential Tremor Pilot Study marks 2nd anniversary, Elias prepares to report final data at 2013 AANS meeting
In February 2011, Billy R. Williams became the first essential tremor patient in the world to be treated with focused ultrasound.
Two years ago this month, University of Virginia neurosurgeon W. Jeffrey Elias, MD and his colleagues launched a groundbreaking clinical trial that has fueled hope among patients debilitated by essential tremor and energized the worldwide focused ultrasound community.
In April, he will share the final results of that study at the 2013 meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. Read more >
Foundation's research awards pass $3 million mark Supported projects yield strong return in terms of follow-on funding, dissemination of data
Disbursements from the Focused Ultrasound Foundation's Research Awards Program surpassed the $3 million mark this month with the selection of two new funding recipients.
1Q13 Focused Ultrasound Foundation Research Awards
Funding Category& Amount
Safety and Efficacy of Focused Ultrasound for Treatment of Low Back Pain Related to Sacroiliitis
Clinical - $100,000
Lynn Kohan, MD
University of Virginia, USA
Metastable Perfluorocarbon Nanodroplets for Enhanced HIFU Ablation
High Risk - $100,000
Paul Dayton, PhD
University of North Carolina, USA
To date, the program has provided nearly $3.2 million in funding to 31 projects exploring applications ranging from uterine fibroids, pelvic disease and knee osteoarthritis to cancers of the brain, breast, head, liver, neck and prostate. Program metrics show that funding is generating solid returns. Read more >
Foundation and industry establishing RELIEF registry for uterine fibroid patients
Final preparations are now underway for a new worldwide patient registry that will collect data about MR-guided focused ultrasound treatments for symptomatic uterine fibroids. Known as RELIEF (REgistry for Leiomyoma: International Efficacy of Focused Ultrasound), the initiative is sponsored by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, InSightec, Ltd. and Philips Healthcare.
Working with treatment centers around the globe, RELIEF will collect long-term clinical outcome data. Its objective is to provide the data needed to gain physician acceptance, insurance coverage and worldwide patient access to MR-guided focused ultrasound treatments for uterine fibroids. Participating treatment centers will have a well maintained focused ultrasound system, proven clinical experience and a dedicated study champion who will serve as a site investigator. For further information, contact . Read more >
Dates, location set for 2014 Focused Ultrasound Symposium
The 4th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound will be held October 12-16, 2014 at the Marriott North Bethesda Hotel and Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
Organized by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, the meeting is a premiere event for the worldwide focused ultrasound community and attracts a multi-disciplinary audience from academic research centers, treatment sites, industry and government.
Participants have lauded the symposium for its robust scientific program and highly interactive environment, which has served as an incubator for many new focused ultrasound projects and collaborations.
Nominations now open for Honorary President of 2014 Symposium
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is now accepting nominations for Honorary President of the 4th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound, scheduled for October 2014.
The nominee must be an individual who has made a major contribution to the field of focused ultrasound.
Nominations must be submitted no later than March 22, 2013.
2008 - Ferenc Jolesz, MD, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, USA 2010 - Kullervo Hynynen, PhD, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Canada 2012 - Wladyslaw Gedroyc, MD, Imperial College/St. Mary’s Hospital, UK
Kassell briefs lawmakers on UVA Center of Excellence accomplishments
Del. David Toscano, Del. Rosalyn Dance, Neal Kassell, MD and Del. T. Scott Garrett.
On February 1, 2013, Focused Ultrasound Foundation Chairman Neal Kassell, MD briefed members of the Allied Health Caucus, a bipartisan group of Virginia lawmakers who meet weekly to discuss health issues.
Kassell opened his remarks with an overview of focused ultrasound technology and of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. He then provided a status report for the University of Virginia (UVA) Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence, a facility funded by a public/private partnership involving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Foundation, UVA and device-maker InSightec Ltd. Read more >
In memoriam: Foundation donor and ardent supporter, Cornelia Keller
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation lost one of its most dedicated and passionate supporters in January 2013 when Cornelia Keller died from the consequences of a decades-long battle with multiple brain and spinal cord tumors.
Widely recognized as a human rights activist, philanthropist, conservationist, historic preservationist, loving mother and devoted friend, Neil was also the founding donor of the Foundation's Brain Program. Her particular interest was in developing focused ultrasound as a noninvasive treatment for brain tumors. Read more >
Medical device innovator Dean Kamen joins Foundation Council
Dean Kamen, an inventor, entrepreneur, philanthropist and advocate for science and technology, has joined the Foundation Council.
As a keynote speaker during the Foundation's 3rd International Symposium in October 2012, Kamen described focused ultrasound as "an amazing technology" and stressed the importance of advocacy in moving the field forward. Read more >
Foundation welcomes three new team members
Rachel Browning has returned to the Foundation as Communications Associate, a position in which she is responsible for social media and the Foundation's awareness-building presentations. Browning worked as Development Associate for the Foundation during 2010 and left to join the alumni relations team at St. Anne's-Belfield School in Charlottesville. She graduated from the University of Virginia in December 2009 with a B.A. in English.
Melissa Healy has joined the Foundation as Administrative Assistant. Since moving to Virginia in 2007, she has worked for Charlottesville Community Church and the University of Virginia's Office of Admissions. Healy earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Miami University in Ohio.
Whitney Robertson,Development Associate, brings a background in database management and interpersonal outreach to her work for the Foundation. Most recently, she worked as Museum Collections Manager at Anderson House in Washington, DC and as Collections Assistant for Dumbarton House in Georgetown. She also taught courses in fashion history and textiles at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia. Robertson is a graduate of the University of Virginia and holds a master's degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
La Sapienza team publishes results of benign bone tumor pilot study
Alessandro Napoli, MD
In a study published on February 7, 2013 in Radiology online before print, Alessandro Napoli, MD and his colleagues at La Sapienza University of Rome reported that six patients with painful osteoid osteoma – benign bone tumors – were treated safely and effectively with MR-guided focused ultrasound.
Written by Stephen Monteith, MD and his colleagues at the University of Virginia, the articleexamines intracranial applications under investigation and other potential intracranial uses of MR-guided focused ultrasound.
According to the authors, MR-guided focused ultrasound surgery is a developing subspecialty of neurosurgery and has the potential to shift the treatment paradigm of several intracranial disorders. Read article >
Tremor treatment is topic of NIH Grand Rounds talk
ET patient Dot Highberg participated in NIH Grand Rounds talk given by Jeff Elias, MD.
"Tremors and their treatment" was the topic of a Grand Rounds talk given on January 9, 2013 at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center by University of Virginia neurosurgeon, W. Jeffrey Elias, MD. During the hour-long presentation, Elias described the differences between Parkinsonian tremor and essential tremor and provided an overview of surgical treatments for those conditions. He brought along two patients, one of whom has Parkinsonian tremor and was treated with Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). The other patient was Dot Highberg, who received focused ultrasound as Patient #13 in the Essential Tremor pilot study. It's a long video, but well worth the investment of time for anyone interested in learning more about tremor and available surgical options. View video >
Vortman envisions a future marked by noninvasive outpatient procedures
Kobi Vortman, PhD
"The operating room of the future" is the title of a video interview with Kobi Vortman, PhD, founder and President of pioneering focused ultrasound device-maker, InSightec, Ltd.
The future envisioned by Vortman is one in which traditional surgery is replaced by noninvasive outpatient procedures. During the interview, he described InSightec's technology and its current and future applications.
Vortman's alma mater, the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion), produced the 6.5 minute video and posted it on YouTube. Uploaded on January 21, 2013, the interview has already had 250,000 views. View video >
Therapeutic Ultrasound Winter School, Des Houches, France Topics will include an introduction to the physics and biophysics necessary to understand therapeutic ultrasound techniques as well as their clinical application. The school will provide a current overview of the field as a contextual background for the work of participants and encourage discussion and shared consideration of different approaches to understanding ultrasound therapy.
Session organizers: Gail ter Haar, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK Vera Khokhlova, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia Mathieu Pernot, Institut Langevin, Paris, France Jean-François Aubry, ESPCI, Paris, France
STM 2013 will cover all areas of thermal medicine and place added emphasis on focused ultrasound- based thermal therapies. Keynote speakers include Kullervo Hynynen, PhD (University of Toronto), Bradford Wood, MD (National Institutes of Health) and Amato Giaccia, MD (Stanford University).
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