This month, we offer a special salute to our colleagues in Korea and Canada. In Korea, Sang-Wook Yoon, MD and his focused ultrasound team at CHA Bundang Medical Center in Seoul have become the first in the world to treat more than 500 uterine fibroid patients. Follow-up data shows their results have been highly favorable.
Also in Korea, Jin Woo Chang, MD at Yonsei University Medical Center has announced plans to launch the world’s first clinical trial in which MR-guided focused ultrasound will be used to treat patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). His colleagues at Yonsei, which has just purchased ExAblate brain and body units, also plan to conduct clinical trials involving patients with metastatic bone cancer, prostate cancer, essential tremor and brain cancer.
In Canada, Todd Mainprize, MD, of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is leading a Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation-funded pilot clinical trial using MR-guided focused ultrasound to treat patients with brain tumors. His colleague, Michael Schwartz, MD, is about to launch a pilot clinical trial to treat patients with essential tremor.
We applaud all of these clinicians and their teams for their contributions to the field of MR-guided focused ultrasound. We look forward to covering their unfolding accomplishments in future issues of this newsletter.
FUSF fully funding two clinical trials at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
Studies are recruiting patients with brain tumors, essential tremor
The Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation is funding two new clinical trials at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. The studies will evaluate the safety of MR-guided focused ultrasound in treating patients with malignant brain tumors and essential tremor.
"Because the brain is the most difficult organ to treat, we believe that one of the best ways to validate and advance MR-guided focused ultrasound is to support the rapid development of promising brain applications," says Neal Kassell, MD, chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation. "We are delighted to be collaborating with the team at Sunnybrook, which is one of the world’s pre-eminent focused ultrasound sites."
Nathan McDannold, PhD, started working in focused ultrasound research as a physics graduate student in 1996. "I was looking for a medical physics project and sort of stumbled into the field," he recalls.
Fifteen years later, McDannold has established himself as one of the world’s leading focused ultrasound researchers. He recently received his second FUSF Research Award, which will enable him to advance his work with microbubble-enhanced thermal ablation in the brain.
Arkansas researcher is exploring FUS as an adjuvant therapy to radiation
FUSF Research Award recipient: Xin Chen, PhD, University of Arkansas for Medical Science, USA
Xin Chen, PhD
Hypoxic (oxygen-deprived) tumor cells usually resist radiation and chemotherapy, making them a key challenge in treating cancer. Researcher Xin Chen, PhD believes that MR-guided focused ultrasound could reduce this problem and benefit patients with malignant solid tumors in areas such as the liver, prostate and breast.
Chen, an assistant professor in the Department Radiation Oncology at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, has received a $100,000 Research Award from the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation. He is exploring the feasibility of a new method that will use MR-guided focused ultrasound to ablate hypoxic areas of tumors prior to regular radiation therapy.
Korean FUS community celebrates key "world firsts"
CHA Medical Center is first to treat 500 uterine fibroid patients; Yonsei University plans first OCD clinical trial
GE/InSightec Conference attendees included (bottom row, from left): W.S. Kim (GE Healthcare Korea), Sang-Wook Yoon, MD (CHA Hospital), Alessandro Napoli, MD (Sapienza, University of Rome), Ori Atar(InSightec), H.G. Shin(GE Healthcare Korea), Laurent Rotival (GE Healthcare Korea), Heather Huff-Simonin(FUS Foundation), Kiwoo Choi (InSightec) and S.H. Song (InSightec).
Shown in top row from the left: Y.D. Kim (GE Healthcare Korea), S.H. Chung (GE Healthcare Korea), Chris Kim (Jinsung Medical) and W.H. Song (GE Healthcare Korea)
On June 14, 2011, GE Healthcare Korea and InSightec, Ltd. co-hosted a conference to recognize two important developments in the focused ultrasound community.
First was the attainment of the 500-patient mark by the focused ultrasound team at CHA Bundang Medical Center in Seoul. Under the leadership of Sang-Wook Yoon, MD, the team has been treating uterine fibroid patients for five years. CHA’s one-year follow up data shows that 95% of patients have experienced improvement and that 18 have either become pregnant or given birth.
The second development acknowledged at the event is the purchase of ExAblate brain and body systems by Yonsei University Medical Center. Jin Woo Chang, MD will use the new brain system to conduct the world’s first clinical trial in which patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) will receive MR-guided focused ultrasound therapy. Yonsei researchers are also planning clinical trials involving patients with metastatic bone tumors, low-risk and intermediate risk prostate cancers, essential tremor, and brain cancer.
The GE/InSightec event featured guest presenters including Yoon, Alessandro Napoli, MD, of the University of Sapienza, Rome and Heather Huff- Simonin of the FUS Foundation. Jin-Suck Suh, MD, of Severance Hospital at Yonsei University served as session chairman.
FUSF welcomes Arik Hananel, MD as Scientific and Medical Director
Arik Hananel, MD
The Foundation is pleased to welcome Arik Hananel, MD as its new Scientific and Medical Director. He was involved in the early commercialization stages of MR-guided focused ultrasound at device pioneer InSightec, Ltd. and has more than 12 years of research and development experience with the technology. Hananel has moved through three pivotal positions at InSightec, giving him a unique vantage point for assisting the Foundation with its mission. As Medical Director, he will oversee research activities, including pre-clinical studies and clinical trials, and represent the Foundation at meetings and symposia.
The Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation is delighted to welcome two new Council members, Wyndham Robertson of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Linda Zecher of Keswick, Virginia. The FUSF Council is a group of advisors and advocates that supports the work of the Foundation by providing counsel, organizing cultivation events and helping to raise funds and increase public awareness.
Wyndham Robertson A staff member at FOURTUNE Magazine for 25 years, Wyndham Robertson was its first female assistant managing editor. She covered investments, finance and technology. She also served briefly as the business editor of TIME Magazine.
Robertson was the first female vice president of the 16-campus University of North Carolina system. She is an alumna of Hollins University, where she served as a trustee for 31 years and board chair for three. A member of numerous nonprofit and corporate boards, Robertson has been a director of Capital Cities/ABC Inc., The Equitable Companies Inc., Media General Inc. and Wachovia Corporation.
Linda Zecher Linda Zecher is corporate vice president of Microsoft's Worldwide Public Sector organization, leading a team of more than 1,900 sales and marketing professionals serving government, education and non-privatized healthcare customers in more than 100 countries. Previously, she was president and CEO of Evolve Corp. and an executive of Bank of America, PeopleSoft and Oracle Corp. Zecher is currently on the boards of the U.S. State Department’s Board for Overseas Schools, the Ohio State University’s Digital Union Advisory Committee and the Emily Couric Leadership Forum. She is a former member of the Intelligence National Security Association and the Virginia Piedmont Technology Council. She is a graduate of Ohio State University.