Thank you for your ongoing commitment to focused ultrasound and for your support and collaboration with the Foundation and the community. Looking back at the past year, momentum is clearly building for the field. Together we have achieved several new milestones.
The research community is doing innovative work. The level of progress shown at October's Rome meeting was exciting, and the incredible spirit of cooperation between scientists has made it possible to explore previously untested ideas. We look forward to our 2014 Symposium for further presentations, data, collaborations, and discussions that create real progress.
While we are proud of what has been accomplished, our work is far from over. Our sense of urgency drives us to continue our work to bring this cost-effective treatment to patients as soon as possible. Together we are creating a positive force for change in the lives of millions of patients who suffer from debilitating and life threatening medical conditions.
The Foundation's External Research Awards Program has approved two new proposals for funding. One project is from the high-risk track, and the other is from the clinical indication track.
The high-risk project is led by Zhen Xu, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan and will study the use of the mechanical effects of focused ultrasound to break up the blood clots that cause deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the legs. Entitled "Image-guided Non-invasive Ultrasonic Thrombolysis Using Histotripsy," Dr. Xu and her team will study the use of the mechanical effects of focused ultrasound to break up the blood clots that cause DVT, which affects two million Americans annually and is currently being treated with methods that are extremely invasive or that carry a risk for bleeding. This project will be funded for one year.
The clinical indication project is a pilot study in pediatric osteoid osteoma led by Michael Temple, M.D., at SickKids Hospital in Toronto. Dr. Temple's research, entitled "Magnetic Resonance—Guided Focused Ultrasound for Noninvasive Pain Therapy of Osteoid Osteoma in Children - A Pilot Study," will assess pain, medication usage, and quality of life before and after treatment in 10 children.
Foundation Featured in Philanthropy Journal
The Philanthropy Journal, an online site for the philanthropic community, recently featured an article by the Foundation on our approach as a model for other nonprofits to accelerate adoption of medical technology.
As Dr. Neal F. Kassell states in the article, "Given the potential of focused ultrasound, we cannot just resign ourselves to the fact that revolutionary medical technologies face numerous scientific, regulatory, cultural, and financial barriers that delay access and lead to unnecessary death, disability, and suffering for patients around the world. For patients with unmet medical needs, the clock is ticking, and the stakes are high. Can a philanthropic organization accelerate medical technology innovation and progress? The answer is yes."
Focused ultrasound research presentations made an impressive showing at this year's Radiologial Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting. A remarkable 27 sessions featured research on focused ultrasound ablation and/or drug delivery to treat many different diseases, including breast cancer, bone metastases, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, melanoma, uterine fibroids, and osteoid osteoma.
In addition to being highlighted at a press conference, research was presented in the poster sessions, oral presentations, and one controversy session. The number of presentations this year was nearly twice as many as were presented last year. A list of all 27 sessions can be found on our website.
Alessandro Napoli, M.D., Ph.D. is using focused ultrasound to treat breast cancer patients
Promising Results of FUS Breast Cancer Study Featured at RSNA Press Briefing
Results of a study presented at the Radiologial Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting on December 4th suggest that MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) may offer a safe, noninvasive treatment option for breast cancer. These results were among a select few chosen by RSNA to be featured at their national press briefing.
Dr. Alessandro Napoli, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Radiology at Sapienza University in Rome, presented the results of his study on 12 patients with invasive ductal breast cancer. All patients were treated with MRgFUS, and post-treatment, histological evaluation confirmed the absence of residual disease in the treatment area in 10 patients.
Though this study is part of early stage research, Dr. Napoli is hopeful that focused ultrasound will one day be a treatment option for women with breast cancer.
First Commercial ExAblate Neuro Treatments in Israel
The first two commercial essential tremor procedures have been performed at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel. Subsequent to the media coverage of this event, the hospital has received hundreds of inquiries from patients who would like to be evaluated for the treatment.
Patients can now include Israel in the list of places where this procedure is available. Dr. Ilana Schlesinger, Department of Neurology Head of Movement Disorders, Prof. Menashe Zaaroor, Director of the Neurosurgery Department, and Prof. Dorit Goldscher, Director of MRI, are collaborating to conduct the treatments.
January 13, 2014 ISTU Poster Presentations Due The 14th International Symposium of Therapeutic UltrasoundISTU 2014 will be held April 2-5, 2014 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, NV. The complete program is available on the meeting's webpage. The deadline for poster presentations is January 13, 2014. New this year -- a whole day of educational courses, both clinical and basic science tracks, with CME credit available.
January 15, 2014 STM Abstracts Due The Society for Thermal Medicine (STM) is now accepting poster and oral presentation abstracts for their 31st Annual Meeting, "STM 2014: Expanding Our Range," to be held May 6-10, 2014 at the Marriott City Center, Minneapolis. The meeting will cover all areas of thermal medicine with added emphasis on low to high temperature thermal therapies and ablation methods. The conference will include keynote presentations in thermal biology, nanotechnology, and imaging. All abstract submissions must be submitted online by January 15, 2014.
February 3-6, 2014—European Society for Hyperthermic Oncology (ESHO) School, Huntsham Court, Huntsham, Devon, UK "Hyperthermia & Thermal Ablation in Cancer Therapy" This multi-disciplinary ESHO school is suitable for those who are new to the fields of hyperthermia and thermal ablation, and for those who feel the need for an update or refresher course. Lectures from well-known experts on biology, physiology, physics, & clinical applications will provide participants with a better understanding of the field, especially outside the areas of their immediate expertise. Ultrasound, radiofrequency and microwave heating sources will all be discussed. This ESHO School will take place in beautiful Huntsham Court in South West England. Participants can register for the 3-day program including full board at the special price of € 500. The number of places is restricted so act fast and register today with Gail ter Haar (). For more information go to http://www.esho.info/. Directors: Gerard van Rhoon (NL), Gail ter Haar (UK), Hans Crezee (NL), Mike Horsman (DK)