Stanford Leading Focused Ultrasound Innovation
Research and Clinical Treatment Make Strides
Driven by pioneering radiologist Pejman (Peji) Ghanouni, MD, PhD, and a multidisciplinary team of experts, Stanford University has become a luminary site for focused ultrasound (FUS) research and is laying the groundwork for future clinical success.
“Peji is a model risk-taking innovator for focused ultrasound. He is persistently working inside and outside of Stanford to knock down barriers to progress,” says Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. “His enthusiasm for the technology is only surpassed by his passion for helping patients.”
His efforts fit well with Stanford’s dedication to investing in the future of medicine. “It has been very encouraging to see so many resources allocated to MRI-guided focused ultrasound,” says Dr. Ghanouni. “At a time when some institutions are demanding an immediate return on investment, our leadership has seen this as an exciting new tool. It wasn't even a matter of convincing them, they see this as part of our mission.”
Stanford has five FUS systems, including an INSIGHTEC Neuro system, two body systems, a prostate system, and the conformal bone system. The University has been a key site for several clinical studies and participates in ongoing trials using FUS to treat fibroids, essential tremor, prostate cancer, and bone metastases. In addition to conducting industry-funded research, Dr. Ghanouni has established a track record of obtaining highly competitive NIH grants to push the envelope of the technology as a solution for other difficult-to-treat conditions, including soft tissue tumors in children and adults, lower back arthritis, and bone metastases in the setting of orthopedic implants.
He currently treats about one FUS patient per week, having treated more than 70 patients in the past few years for bone metastases, uterine fibroids, essential tremor, and soft tissue tumors. Stanford’s leadership recognizes his critical role by enabling him to dedicate part of his time to FUS research and clinical care.
“Stanford is the ideal academic site for a focused ultrasound platform system like INSIGHTEC’s ExAblate,” says Suzanne LeBlang, Chief Medical Officer at the Foundation. “They have Peji at the nucleus to optimize expertise and efficiency across the institution; he works closely with multiple clinical disciplines that are eager to improve patient care. Combined with a world-class team of MR and ultrasound physicists and engineers, each specialty is able to research and implement the technology for a range of conditions.”
Dr. Ghanouni recently traveled to Virginia to meet with Foundation staff and to share his work at an event for Charlottesville community leaders. Read his investigator profile to explore the current landscape at Stanford, his experience with the technology, and his vision for clinical success
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DR. GHANOUNI ON HIS PASSION FOR FUS AND THE WORK HAPPENING AT STANFORD >