Taiwan-based focused ultrasound manufacturer NaviFUS recently announced the start of its first clinical trial for glioblastoma. To date, three patients have been treated. Researchers at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital are investigating focused ultrasound to induce opening of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in patients with glioblastoma using optically guided, neuronavigational technology. The safety and feasibility study uses the company's proprietary system to noninvasively treat these deadly cancers.
Today marks World Pancreatic Cancer Day, and much is being done in the field of focused ultrasound to address the deadly disease. In a interview on our blog, Dr. Joo Ha Hwang of Stanford University recently spoke about his work over the past 18 years enhancing drug delivery using focused ultrasound to give these patients hope.
Foundation Board Member Andrew von Eschenbach Appointed to Two Healthcare Boards
Foundation Board of Directors member Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, was recently appointed to two important Boards – Bausch Health and the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. von Eschenbach will lend his experience as the former FDA Commissioner and former Director of the National Cancer Institute. Bausch Health is a global company dedicated to improving people's lives with their healthcare products. The Reagan-Udall Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization that works to advance regulatory science and the scientific mission of the FDA.
For Tammy, the hip pain started in 2010. She tried medications, surgeries, and nerve stimulator implants, but nothing alleviated her symptoms. Faced with an expensive radiation therapy, Tammy researched other options and stumbled upon the focused ultrasound trial at the University of Maryland. In September, she became the first patient to be treated there.
Last month, we reported that the first patient had been treated in a US focused ultrasound clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease. A local news outlet interviewed Judi, a 61-year-old former nurse who had to stop working due to her disease. Learn more about the trial and why Judi says, “Memories are worth fighting for.”
Researchers at the University of Virginia have investigated the effects of focused ultrasound therapy on the quality of life of patients with tremor-dominant Parkinson’s disease. The team used data from a Foundation-supported clinical trial, and their results were published last week in Neurology. The 27 patients in the trial reported improved quality of life at three- and twelve-months follow up. The original trial data were published in JAMA Neurology in November 2017.
Last month, researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center became the first team in the US to treat neuropathic pain using noninvasive focused ultrasound therapy. Led by Dheeraj Gandhi, MD, the early-stage, pilot trial aims to establish the safety of destroying a small target in the brain to treat chronic neuropathic pain using Insightec’s Exablate Neuro device.
Dr. Dheeraj Gandhi has been involved in all aspects of clinical focused ultrasound work at the University of Maryland, with a specific focus on facilitating direct image-based targeting of brain structures using advanced MR techniques. He has been involved in more than 65 focused ultrasound procedures and is now Principal Investigator for the new clinical trial to treat neuropathic pain.
More than 1,500 researchers from around the world attended the IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium October 22-25 in Kobe, Japan. The topics on focused ultrasound therapy included ultrasound-mediated drug delivery, neurostimulation, monitoring techniques, microbubbles and cavitation in ultrasound therapy, and new technologies to enhance ultrasound therapy.
The 176th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) was held November 5-9, in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. With an overall mission to generate, disseminate, and promote the knowledge and practical applications of acoustics, the meeting included several presentations of interest to the focused ultrasound community. Researchers from the Foundation were invited to present their recent simulation study that developed and validated algorithms for how ultrasound propagates through the skull. Additional topics in the program included blood-spinal cord barrier opening, blood-brain barrier opening, droplet vaporization for mechanical brain tissue ablation, additional simulation work, and much more.
Have you read the new journal articles about using focused ultrasound to treat cardiac arrhythmias, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease? Recently published work by scientists from two focused ultrasound Centers of Excellence investigates a transesophageal application for cardiac ablation and describes the outcomes from preclinical studies that examine the effects of focused ultrasound on beta-amyloid in Alzheimer’s and on Lewy pathology in Parkinson's.
The Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound (JTU) will close at the end of the year and is no longer accepting submissions. Launched in 2013 through a partnership between the Foundation and the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound, the JTU was the first open-access journal dedicated to the field. “The JTU served as an important bridge until mainstream journals adopted an open-access policy, and now it has fulfilled its purpose,” says Foundation chairman, Neal F. Kassell, MD. Moving forward, all articles will be archived and fully searchable.
Employees at the Austin subsidiary of EDAP TMS recently participated in the Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk. Dubbed the "HIFU Fighters," the EDAP team raised awareness for the disease and Focal One, their noninvasive focused ultrasound treatment option for patients with the disease. Focal One earned FDA approval earlier this year. Zero is an organization dedicated to ending prostate cancer.