Foundation co-sponsoring Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound
The focused ultrasound community will soon have a new outlet for publishing work related to basic science, technology development, pre-clinical studies and clinical results. The online, peer-reviewed, open access Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound is being launched by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) and BioMed Central. The journal will also be supported by an editorial board consisting of key opinion leaders in the field of focused ultrasound.
According to the Foundation's Scientific and Medical Director Arik Hananel, MD, the journal will provide a much-needed platform for rapidly sharing information about new developments and best practices. Articles will cover translational and clinical research in therapeutic ultrasound, including MR-guided and ultrasound-guided applications, high intensity focused ultrasound and non-ablative therapies.
The Foundation is providing financial support for two years to enable the journal to publish accepted articles at no cost to authors. The journal's web page is now under construction and is expected to be accessible later this summer. Updates will be provided in future issues of this newsletter.
During a June 9 workshop hosted by the Foundation's Liver and Pancreas Program, 20 experts in the usage and research of focused ultrasound for liver ablation met to solidify views and formulate treatment recommendations.
Attendees, who included clinicians, scientists and industry representatives, developed a definition of "the clinical unmet need in the management of liver tumors." They also mapped out recommended structures for pilot and pivotal clinical trials and technical specifications for a liver treatment device. This information is expected to be published as either a white paper or a peer-reviewed article.
Aaron Stern joins Foundation Council
Aaron Stern, M.D., Ph.D., a trustee of the Robertson Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of the Robertson Scholarship program, has joined the Focused Ultrasound Foundation Council. A physician, educator and management consultant, he has written numerous scientific and educational papers and is the author of the book, The Narcissistic American. He joined Tiger Management in 1993 and served as a member of its Management Committee, Board of Directors and became Chief Operating Officer in 2000.
Trend-spotting at ISTU: Liver tumors and drug delivery are year's "hot topics"
Where is the field of therapeutic ultrasound headed? If the most frequently addressed research topics at this year's meeting of theInternational Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound(ISTU) are any indication, interest is strongly trending toward liver tumor treatment and drug delivery approaches. Another emerging trend observed by Foundation team members attending the meeting is the inclusion of more clinical studies. In all, the meeting featured eight presentations about patient trials for prostate, bone and breast cancer, uterine fibroids and essential tremor.
The ISTU meeting, which was held June 10-13 in Heidelberg, Germany, attracted about 280 academic researchers, technicians and engineers and featured 170 talks and 70 posters. The program included six talks by Foundation team members and/or funded researchers.
The Foundation welcomes abstracts related to translational or clinical research involving the use of MR-guided or ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, applications in: the brain, breast, liver, pancreas and prostate; uterine fibroids and fertility; bone tumors; back and neck pain; and emerging applications. Abstracts should include new data, not previously presented or published in another forum. Submit >
July 2: Young Investigator Travel Award applications due
If you are a scientist-in-training who is actively involved in focused ultrasound research, you are invited to apply for a Young Investigator Travel Award. Recipients receive free symposium admission, up to $1,500 in reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses and an opportunity to have their work showcased during a special evening poster session. To be eligible, you must be a student, resident or a fellow who has completed doctoral training or residency within the last four years. Abstract acceptance is also mandatory for travel award eligibility. Details >
August 2: extended deadline for Research Award applications
Due to the workload created by the anticipated influx of symposium abstract submissions in early July, the Focused Ultrasound Foundation has extended the next quarterly submission deadline for its Research Awards Program from July 1 to August 1, 2012. To date, the Research Awards program has provided more than $2 million in funding to highly promising projects involving image-guided focused ultrasound. Program details and application guidelines >
Update: Focused ultrasound patient Doris McArdle still in the swing of life at age 91
During a June 2 golf tournament, 91-year-old Doris McArdle stepped up to the tee and took a full swing, typical of her approach to life. Nineteen months ago, McArdle was struggling with acute pain and discomfort caused by a large benign pancreatic tumor. Thanks to a series of fortuitous events and a vast amount of personal courage, she travelled to St. Mary's Hospital in London where she received focused ultrasound treatment on a compassionate care basis. Read Story >
Although she did not play an entire round of golf, McArdle totally enjoyed the outing, which was a fundraiser for the Janice McArdle Cancer Research Foundation. The McArdle Foundation is a supporter of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and a donor to Foundation-sponsored clinical trials for metastatic brain tumors.
Patient expresses appreciation of Foundation's efforts
In a recent email, Sherilyn Conn of Arlington, Texas wrote: "As a perfectly healthy female, who found it necessary to retire as media director of a major Texas school district because of essential tremor, I am thrilled every time I read of the progress of Focused Ultrasound Surgery through the work of its foundation. I watch and pray in hope of what this will mean to my sons, one whom now exhibits the beginning systems of ET, and for my young grandsons, who may face these problems in their adult years knowing there is a solution! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your newsletters. They literally thrill my soul!"
ISTU honors leading researchers at its 2012 meeting in Heidelberg
Constantin Coussios, PhD, Nathan McDannold, PhD, and Gail ter Haar, PhD
A special highlight of the 2012 International Society of Therapeutic Ultrasound meeting, held in Heidelberg, Germany from June 10-13, was the presentation of the Fred Lizzi Early Career Award and the William and Frank Fry Award for outstanding contributions to therapeutic ultrasound. This year's Lizzi Award was shared by two researchers, Constantin Coussios, PhD (University of Oxford, UK) and Nathan McDannold, PhD (Harvard University, USA). The Fry Award recipient was Gail ter Haar, PhD (Institute of Cancer Research, UK).
Interview with Neal F. Kassell, MD featured in AANS Neurosurgeon
The Face-time column in a recent issue of the AANS Neurosurgeon featured an interview with Focused Ultrasound Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. Conducted by Jason Sheehan, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon at the University of Virginia, the interview touched upon Kassell's career in neurosurgery, his business pursuits and his commitment to advancing focused ultrasound technology. Read Story >
FUS brain tumor researcher Todd Mainprize, MD profiled in University of Toronto Medical Journal
Todd Mainprize, MD
In an in-depth interview, Todd Mainprize, MD discussed MR-guided focused ultrasound and his efforts to use this exciting technology in treating brain tumors. Mainprize is a neurosurgeon at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto and is a Surgeon Scientist affiliated with The Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre. Read Story >
Sunnybrook Research Institute receives $6.91M to lead project involving 19 industry partners
Accelerating the development and commercialization of innovative image-guided therapies for cancer and heart disease is the goal of a major initiative announced last month. Sunnybrook Research Institute (University of Toronto) will lead the project with $6.91 million in funding from the Canadian government. Project partners will include Western University (Ontario, Canada) and 19 industry partners, who were not identified. The goal of the project is to develop, test and license four new image-guided therapies: ultrasound surgery, magnetic resonance imaging intervention; an early feedback system for chemotherapy patients; and a hybrid optical/ultrasound catheter for imaging of coronary atherosclerosis. Read Press Release >
St-Augustin Urology Clinic in France using focused ultrasound to treat prostate cancer
In an announcement on June 5, EDAP TMS SA reported that patients with prostate cancer are being successfully treated at the St-Augustin Urology Clinic in Bordeaux, France utilizing the company's Ablatherm High Intensity Focused Ultrasound system. Dr. Thierry Piechaud, partner and urology surgeon at the clinic, noted, "We are very enthusiastic about adding the Ablatherm-HIFU device to our therapeutic arsenal. We believe HIFU has developed a clear lead among other current technologies as a new approach and a modern concept of non-invasive treatment for early stage prostate cancer which preserves patient quality of life." EDAP reports that there are 278 Ablatherm installations worldwide. Read Press Release >
Blog spotlights National Center for Image-Guided Therapy at Brigham & Women's Hospital
HealthHub, a blog from Brigham & Women's Hospital, recently profiled the institution's National Center for Image-Guided Therapy. The blog acknowledged the center's Co-Principal Investigators Ferenc Jolesz, MD and Clare Tempany, MD for their pioneering work in MR-guided focused ultrasound. Also acknowledged was Nathan McDannold, PhD, leader of a research program that is studying focused ultrasound in treating brain tumors, chronic pain and tremors and in opening the blood-brain barrier to facilitate drug delivery. The center's is also investigating focused ultrasound treatments for breast and bone tumors and cardiac arrhythmias. Read Blog >
Celsion, Oxford University using Thermodox and HIFU in metastatic liver cancer trial
US biotech Celsion, Inc. will design and conduct a clinical trial in partnership with Oxford University (UK) to evaluate the use of its heat-activated drug, Thermodox, and ultrasound-guided high intensity focused ultrasound in treating patients with metastatic liver cancer. Patient treatments are expected to begin later this year. The study is supported by the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre. It will be conducted as a multi-disciplinary collaboration between Celsion, the Oxford University Institute of Biomedical Engineering and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. Read Press Release >
Kona Medical raises $30M to commercialize focused ultrasound treatment for high blood pressure
American medical device-maker Kona Medical, Inc. has raised $30 million in venture financing to advance development and commercialization of an ultrasound system to treat drug-resistant hypertension. The device is designed to noninvasively ablate renal nerves, which play a significant role in determining blood pressure. According to the company, recent clinical data have shown that renal nerve ablation can result in profound and lasting reduction in hypertension in patients whose blood pressure is not adequately controlled by medication. The privately-held Kona is based in Bellevue, Washington. Read Report >
EDAP realigns executive team to focus on US opportunities
EDAP TMS SA of Lyon, France has relocated its Chief Executive Officer Marc Oczachowski to the US. "The U.S. market is critically important for EDAP," said Philippe Chauveau, Chairman of the company's Board of Directors. "We see significant growth drivers in the US, both in the lithotripsy market and in continuing to drive our Ablatherm-HIFU program toward FDA submission, targeted for fourth quarter 2012." The realignment impacted the accountabilities of the company's Chief Financial Officer Eric Soyer and Japanese subsidiary CEO, Jean Francois Bachelard. News Release >
American urologists express increased interest in focused ultrasound
Recent comments by executives of EDAP TMS and US HIFU indicate that interest in focused ultrasound treatment for prostate cancer is increasing among members of the American Urological Association. Marc Oczachowski, Chief Executive Officer of EDAP TMS, said that the company "experienced record attendance and exceptional enthusiasm from U.S. urologists" at its exhibit booth at the AUA meeting, which was held May 19-23, 2012 in Atlanta. He noted that "awareness levels are building" as the company prepares for to submit its Ablatherm-HIFU filing to the US FDA later this year. Read Press Release >
Mike Klein, US HIFU Chief Executive Officer said, "We have an unprecedented number of meetings scheduled at AUA." He added that the company, which is conducting US clinical trials of its Sonoblate system, was "actively seeking insight from urologists to guide the development of HIFU technologies to further enhance the safety and efficacy and identify areas of interest to focus studies and clinical trials for a wide range of applications." Read Press Release >
Former SonoSite executive John Bowers has joined Kona Medical as Chief Operating Officer. At SonoSite, a point-of-care ultrasound equipment maker, he served as Senior Vice President for North America and Strategic Development. Previously, Bowers was CEO of Northstar Neuroscience and held various executive roles at Guidant Corporation and Eli Lilly and Company.
August 27-31, 2012: Integrated Interventional Imaging Operating System (IIIOS) Summer School
Conducted by at the Institute for Medical Science and Technology (IMSaT), University of Dundee, Scotland. The program will address the challenges of MRI guided interventions through the different perspectives of technology involved, procedure development and training needed. Registration closes July 31st. Website >Request Information >
September 3-7, 2012: Nanoporation Summer School
Conducted by the Institute for Medical Science and Technology (IMSaT), University of Dundee, Scotland. The program will cover the multi-disciplinary challenges associated with the application of focused ultrasound for targeted drug delivery under MR-guidance. Registration closes July 31st. Website >Request Information >
October 14-17: 3rd International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound
Organized by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, the Symposium is a global forum covering state-of-the-art clinical applications of image-guided focused ultrasound. Topics include applications in: the brain, breast, liver, pancreas and prostate; uterine fibroids and fertility; bone tumors; back and neck pain; and emerging applications. Oral and poster presentations will address the latest advances using both MRI and ultrasound guidance. More information >
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