Foundation's new Progress Report chronicles a "revolutionary" year
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation has released its new progress report to celebrate the last year's highlights and spotlight its aspirational goals for the future.
"We will long remember 2011 as the year the revolution began, as judged by a palpable increase in the enthusiasm of the focused ultrasound community," says Neal F. Kassell, MD, Foundation chairman. The spark that ignited the revolution was the groundbreaking essential tremor clinical trial, which capitalized on years of hard work, innovation and risk-taking by many focused ultrasound pioneers in industry and academia. According to Kassell, the success of the study has helped to validate the enormous potential of focused ultrasound.
"We invite the focused ultrasound community to join us in celebrating the important milestones featured in the Progress Report and to work with us in ensuring that 2012 is another successful year," Kassell says.
Foundation-inspired public/private partnership celebrates major success
Joint-effort created FUS Center at the University of Virginia, site of essential tremor study
Now in its third year of operation, the UVA Focused Ultrasound Center has become a leading force in clinical and preclinical research. Shown here are members and guests of the Foundation Council, who toured the Center in 2010.
During the past year, this newsletter has closely followed the progress of the Foundation-funded essential tremor study at theUniversity of Virginia. Launched in February 2011 and completed last month, that successful 15-patient study was the first in the world to use focused ultrasound to treat essential tremor, the most common movement disorder which affects more than 10 million Americans and millions more worldwide.
The study is a major success for the innovative public/private partnership that the Foundation formed in 2009. The partnership – which includes the Foundation, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the University of Virginia and device maker InSightec – created the Focused Ultrasound Center at UVA, the site of the essential tremor trial.
Now in its third year of operation, the UVA Center has emerged as a leading force in worldwide clinical and preclinical research of focused ultrasound therapies. As a result, both the Commonwealth of Virginia and UVA are positioned on the leading edge of high-tech medical device research and development.
Forty investigators from 10 departments are now engaged in projects at the Center. In addition to continuing essential tremor studies, UVA researchers will soon embark on clinical trials for Parkinson's disease and brain tumors.
According to Foundation Chairman Neal Kassell, MD, "The UVA Center serves as a prime example of the success that can be achieved when groups from academia, industry and the private and public sectors share a common vision. Innovative partnerships like the one we've formed in Virginia are key to escalating the development of focused ultrasound therapies and to making their benefits available to patients as quickly as possible. We believe this model for success is one that can and should be replicated to advance new technologies for healthcare and other fields."
Foundation announces moderators and panelists for 2012 International Symposium
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation has announced the roster of focused ultrasound leaders and pioneers who will serve as moderators and panelists at the 3rd International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound, scheduled for October 14-17, 2012 in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
Session Moderators Brain – W. Jeffrey Elias, MD and Jin Woo Chang, MD, PhD Uterine Fibroids – Young-Sun Kim, MD and Elizabeth Stewart, MD Emerging Applications – Bradford Wood, MD and Andreas Melzer, MD Breast Cancer – Wilbert Bartels, PhD and Hidemi Furusawa, MD Prostate Cancer – Peter Scardino, MD and Andreas Blana, MD Bone Mets – Mark Hurwitz, MD and Vladimir Turkevich, MD Bone Applications, Non-Metastasis – Motohiro Kawasaki, MD and Alessandro Napoli, MD Liver and Pancreas – Wladyslaw Gedroyc, MD and Thomas Leslie, MD Panelists Uterine Fibroids – Andrew Dobrotwir, MD; Gina Hesley, MD; Young-Sun Kim, MD; Mattias Matzko, MD; Jaron Rabinovici, MD; Steve Raman, MD; Elizabeth Stewart, MD; and Sang-Wook Yoon, MD
US-guidance vs. MR-guidance – Christian Chaussy, MD; Yael Inbar, MD; Clare Tempany, MD; and Gail ter Haar, PhD
Prostate Cancer – Andreas Blana, MD; Christian Chaussy, MD; Mark Hurwitz, MD; and Peter Scardino, MD
Bone Mets – Carlo Catalano, MD; Raphael Catane, MD; Pejman Ghanouni, MD; Mark Hurwitz, MD; and James Larner, MD
FasterCures spotlights Focused Ultrasound Foundation
TRAIN, an online publication of FasterCures, has featured the Focused Ultrasound Foundation in its April 2012 "Innovator's Spotlight" column. TRAIN – which stands for The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network – identifies and promotes models of innovation and collaboration in medical research. Its goal is to escalate the movement of important new patient treatments from the discovery phase to clinical adoption.
In addition to the Foundation, TRAIN's network includes the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Epilepsy Therapy Project and Susan G. Koman For The Cure.
John Colley, Dede Hall, Liz Wright, Jimmy Wright, Neal Kassell.
On April 12, Focused Ultrasound Foundation Chairman Neal Kassell, MD gave a presentation about focused ultrasound that both challenged and inspired Jefferson Scholars at the University of Virginia. At the conclusion of his remarks, he was approached by a number of students who were eager to learn more about focused ultrasound and how they can support research at UVA and beyond.
The event was organized by the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, which is dedicated to furthering Thomas Jefferson's ideals by encouraging students who possess exceptional potential in the areas of leadership, scholarship and citizenship to attend UVA. Jefferson Scholars receive financial support to freely develop and apply their talents for the good of the university community.
In making his address, Kassell joined the ranks of other notable individuals who have been guests of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation. The list includes former astronaut Kathryn C. Thornton, noted civil rights historian Julian Bond, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove, former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger and UVA anthropological archaeologist Jeffrey Hantman.
Known as a luminary in medical imaging, Dennis L. Parker, PhD is currently devoting much of his time to focused ultrasound. Parker, a professor of Radiology at the University of Utah and Director of the Utah Center for Advanced Imaging Research (UCAIR), is co-leading the development of a high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) system for breast tumors. Now in prototype form, the system has been tested on phantoms and samples. "From the standpoint of something that could ultimately be used to treat breast cancer, I think this is an excellent, potential device," Parker says. "The advantage of HIFU for breast cancer is that it's totally noninvasive. It has the opportunity eventually to totally eradicate the disease without any surgical intervention at all."
Breast system project leads to international collaborations on MR thermometry for liver and brain indications
As Dennis Parker, PhD and his colleagues at the University of Utah continue to refine and advance their new HIFU system for breast tumors, they have also joined forces with Swiss and French researchers to solve the technical challenges of measuring temperature changes during focused ultrasound treatments.
These collaborations are supporting the development of a new HIFU system for liver tumors at the University of Geneva and aiding researchers at the Institut Langevin (ESPCI) and SuperSonic Imagine in developing techniques for monitoring volumetric temperature in brain applications.
Theraclion reports promising preliminary results of HIFU for breast fibroadenoma trials
In a recent email, David Del Bourgo of start-up French device maker Theraclion reported that "promising results" have been achieved by the company's TH-One focused ultrasound system. The system is being evaluated in two clinical trials that are treating patients with breast fibroadenomas, benign tumors that affect about one in ten women and are especially problematic for those under 30 years old.
"We are excited to share with you preliminary results on our first 14 patients treated under HIFU for breast fibroadenoma," Del Bourgo wrote. "Treatments were performed in one single HIFU session, under conscious sedation (neurolept analgesia) in two clinical centers: University Hospital USBALE of Sofia, Bulgaria, and the American Hospital of Paris, France."
Average fibroadenoma volume reductions were 20 percent at one month, 40 percent at three months and 64 percent at six months. Mean treatment time was one hour and 30 minutes. No adverse events were observed.
Designed to assess treatment feasibility, the study in Paris is set to enroll 20 patients over a 6‐month period. It is treating women who are scheduled for a surgical resection. Read details of the French study >.
The TH-One was originally designed to meet the high precision requirements for administering focused ultrasound to the neck. It received CE marking in 2007 for thyroid and parathyroid applications. Read Company Profile >
Launch of Dosimetry for Ultrasound Therapy project set for June
Adam Shaw of the United Kingdom's National Physics Laboratory has asked us to share the following information about a major international project on Dosimetry for Ultrasound Therapy (DUTy) that will begin in June 2012.
Funded by the European Metrology Research Programme, the project will establish definitions, measurement standards, reference materials and phantoms, and validated modeling techniques to determine ultrasound exposure and dose to tissue. It will promote worldwide consensus through written international standards, scientific publications and training workshops. Organizers anticipate that the methodologies and standards emerging from the project will become the basis of international Best Practices.
Three funding opportunities for experienced researchers associated with this project (no. HLT03) can be found at http://www.emrponline.eu/adverts/health_adverts.html. Applications are being accepted through May 7, 2012. Information about other funding opportunities associated with DUTy can be obtained from Adam Shaw, who is serving as project co-ordinator. His contact information is:
Rusckowski leaving Philips Healthcare to head Quest Diagnostics
Stephen H. Rusckowski
Philips Healthcare has announced the departure of its Chief Executive Officer Stephen H. Rusckowski. His successor will be Deborah DiSanzo, who is currently CEO of the company's Patient Care and Clinical Informatics unit. The largest unit of Royal Philips Electronics, Philips Healthcare is a leading MR-guided focused ultrasound device manufacturer.
Rusckowski, who serves on the Focused Ultrasound Foundation Board of Directors, will become President and CEO of Quest Diagnostics on May 1. Quest develops diagnostic tests and healthcare information technology solutions to improve patient care. The company has 42,000 employees and annual revenues of $7.5 billion.
Rusckowski joined Philips in 2001 following the acquisition of Agilent's Healthcare Solutions Group. He was CEO of the company's Imaging Systems business group before being named CEO of Philips Healthcare in November 2006. Rusckowski has also been a member of the Board of Management of Royal Philips Electronics and its Executive Committee.
Focused Ultrasound Foundation | 1230 Cedars Court, Suite F | Charlottesville VA | 22902 Questions and comments about this newsletter should be sent to the Foundation's Director of Communications, Ellen C. McKenna ()