We are on track for next week’s 4th International Symposium to be our largest event to date. More than 375 experts have already registered to join us in Bethesda, Maryland to share the significant progress being made on many clinical fronts, including brain disorders, cancers, and painful bone conditions. As the world’s leading forum for clinicians and scientists advancing the field, the symposium provides a multifaceted exploration of the many applications of the technology and features plenary sessions, panel discussions, poster presentations, and exhibits. Additionally, we look forward to Twitter users sharing their experiences through the #FUSF2014 hashtag.
An exciting addition this year is a special discussion with CIA masterminds Tony and Jonna Mendez. The award-winning film, ARGO, was based on Tony’s leadership of the legendary mission during the Iran hostage crisis. For the first time, Tony will speak publicly about his Parkinson’s disease and why they are supporting the development of focused ultrasound.
The robust final program offers something for everyone. A record number of more than 200 abstracts were accepted for presentation.
An inaugural Visionary Award will be presented to Motti Zisser, one of the first and largest investors in InSightec. Innovation within the medical technology ecosystem will be the focus of three Keynote Speeches, delivered by technology luminaries Andrew von Eschenbach, Fred Moll, and Rick Hamilton. Their messages will inspire attendees, including our Young Investigator Award Recipients and Interns, who represent the future leaders and innovators to take focused ultrasound to the next level of advancement.
From Clandestine Operations to Noninvasive Operations: A Discussion with Tony & Jonna Mendez
Join the former CIA spymasters on Tuesday morning as they discuss Tony’s experience as the mastermind of the ARGO mission, their careers in intelligence technical development, and his latest mission of managing Parkinson’s disease and supporting the advancement of focused ultrasound.
This captivating discussion will be moderated by Washington Post reporter Mike Rosenwald. Learn why the Mendezes decided to share their personal story with us and what they think focused ultrasound will do for the future of medicine.
The Symposium’s 5-day final program is now available. Highlights include:
Daily Keynote Addresses by Visionary Thought Leaders
Edouard Herriot Hospital—Focal One Prostate Cancer
Hospital University Mutua Terrassa—Pancreatic Cancer
Looking for lively discussions about hot topics in the field? Put these panel sessions on your calendar:
Immunotherapy Panel (Tuesday Morning)
Prostate Cancer Controversies: Patient Selection, Recent FDA Hearings (Tuesday Afternoon)
Disruptive Effects in Medical Practice (Thursday Morning)
These topics and much more will make the week-long event full of important milestones and achievements one to remember. New collaborations will emerge, controversies will be explored, and progress will be made.
The Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center is sold out for the nights of October 14th and 15th.
If you still need to make your room reservation, please consider the Hilton Rockville – It’s just one metro stop away! The most current information can be found on the Symposium venue page. Contact the hotel directly to make reservations:
Business pioneer Motti Zisser will receive the Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s first Visionary Award in recognition for his leadership in supporting the creation of InSightec. This newly created honor, to be given every two years at our Symposium, will recognize an individual who has created a larger vision for what the future of focused ultrasound may hold and whose effort, passion, and persistence have been crucial to advancing the field.
“I am deeply honored by this recognition,” said Motti. “I was fascinated when I first met the people from this small company called InSightec. I knew that it would be a long road, but the potential for focused ultrasound was so big with the ability to help so many people that I had to support it. I am proud of what the company and the field has achieved to date, and I look forward to more growth in the future.”
Motti Zisser had the vision to see the potential of focused ultrasound and to invest in it. He helped shape the field into what it has become through his early investment in InSightec, envisioning a new way to use an old technology. He challenged old ideas, harnessed the technology in a way that could not previously be done, and created opportunity for countless others.
In “Developing a New, Disruptive Therapeutic Modality: From Laboratory Research Tool to Standard of Care,” Frederic Moll, MD will share insights from his experience founding Intuitive Surgical, including his vision behind the technology, overcoming barriers to adoption, and lessons for focused ultrasound.
Monday October 13th
Welcome and President’s Address by Honorary President Feng Wu, MD, PhD, Focused Ultrasound Consultant and Senior Clinical Scientist at Oxford University. A steadfast champion of focused ultrasound for more than 25 years, his teams have treated more than 50,000 tumor patients (the largest population of focused ultrasound—treated patients in the world), and his work has been dedicated to treating tumors in the liver, kidney, breast, pancreas, uterus, bone, and soft tissues.
Tuesday, October 14th
In “The Virtuous Cycle of Discovery, Development, and Delivery: The 21st Century Paradigm for Advancing Bioscience,” Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, the only person to have led both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Cancer Institute, will elaborate on his experience with this continuum and how it can be applied to facilitate focused ultrasound’s progress.
Wednesday, October 15th
In “The New Innovation Economy,” Rick Hamilton, IBM's Cloud Offering Evangelist and Master Inventor, will discuss the rising importance of innovation in today’s economy by examining the driving factors, how organizations are responding, and what it means to us as individuals.
"This method of viewing the program and abstracts is the best I have seen at any meeting, ever." – Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD
Download 200+ Abstracts and More on Your Mobile Device
New for 2014 is a mobile app in lieu of a Symposium abstract book. (Although we will still have a small program book for the paper seekers at the meeting).
See the daily and weekly schedule and add the sessions that they want to attend to their calendar. The app then shows which participants plan to attend that session.
View the entire text from 200+ abstracts accompanied by the speaker’s bio and photo. Share research findings directly to social media (using #FUSF2014), including the link to all of the data.
Participate in surveys, look up venue information, locate Foundation staff, and much more.
A cutting-edge technology like focused ultrasound deserves meeting software that can keep up. Participants will love this app and can start using it today! Sign up for a free Sched.org account to create your own custom schedule for the symposium; create an attendee profile to network with your colleagues; and network with other attendees who have chosen to share their contact information, bios, photos, and/or social media links. You can add a bookmark to your home screen for easy access. Complete instructions for bookmarking here.
Young Investigator Award Recipients
Fifteen scientists from eight different countries have received Young Investigator Awards. Each researcher will present one or more abstracts during the Symposium and have the opportunity to meet and discuss their projects with colleagues. Descriptions of the winning projects and biographical sketches of the Young Investigators are available on our website.
The Foundation established the Young Investigator Award Program to encourage quality research by clinicians and scientists-in-training and to support their presentation of meritorious scientific papers at major venues, such as the 4th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound. Graduate students, research fellows, clinical fellows, and junior faculty members are eligible to apply for the awards, which include complementary event registration and up to an additional $1,500 in reimbursement for travel and lodging expenses.
Jemma Brown interned at the Institute of Cancer Research in London
Global Intern Program
During a Foundation Board of Directors meeting, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach was impressed with the level and scope of projects completed by students in the Summer Internship Program and suggested that the successful endeavor should be extended worldwide. Therefore, this summer, twelve high school and undergraduate university students interested in the physical and life sciences were selected to participate in the first Global Internship Program, and each was matched with an academic researcher or industry mentor at a recognized international site.
Seven of the twelve students who completed the requirements submitted abstracts for the 2014 Symposium and will present their work during the poster session. One project, submitted by Institute of Cancer Research intern Jemma Brown, was awarded travel support as the best student abstract of 2014.
On Monday, October 13th, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, the Foundation will host the premiere Focused Ultrasound Showcase. This industry forum will showcase the high-tech companies that are developing the business of focused ultrasound.
The more than 350 symposium attendees are invited to hear on-stage presentations by industry leaders and participate in brief Q & A sessions with the presenters. After the program, a cocktail reception will create an atmosphere for the attendees to further engage with the companies and explore the exhibit hall.
Industry representatives will join together to highlight their companies’ accomplishments, build relationships and forge collaborations with key stakeholders, and engage the community of pioneering clinicians and researchers, investors, payers, consultants, and regulatory representatives. The showcase promises to be a fun--and productive--evening event.
The Foundation thanks the industry sponsors of the 4th International Symposium, and we encourage attendees to visit the booths on display in the exhibit hall. Meet the 2014 Sponsors.
A clinical paper about the use of therapeutic ultrasound for lowering intraocular pressure in the treatment of glaucoma highlights the October issue of The Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound. Although further studies are needed for validation, this first-in-human trial of a low-power, low-frequency ultrasound instrument to treat open-angle glaucoma is supportive of a well-tolerated procedure with a significant decrease in intraocular pressure.
FDA Panel Calls for More Data on SonaCare's Prostate Treatment
A US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted on October 1 not to recommend approval at this time for SonaCare Medical's Sonablate 450 focused ultrasound system for the treatment of recurrent prostate cancer.
"SonaCare is already in the process of assessing a subset of subjects that meet the Panel’s recommendations... we look forward to working with FDA to explore this and other paths that may allow us to realize our goal of achieving approval for the technology and making it available to men living with radio-recurrent prostate cancer."– Mark Carol, SonaCare’s Chief Development Officer
The panel felt the interim data of 100 patients in a 200-patient trial was insufficient to recommend approval, and they advised the company to continue their ongoing study. The experts voted that the risk of the treatment was too high for the limited efficacy demonstrated, that there is not reasonable assurance that the system is effective for this population, and that the benefits do not outweigh the risks based on the evidence presented. Sonablate did receive some positive votes for safety and efficacy, but not enough to meet the level of evidence needed to recommend approval in the United States.
InSightec announced that it has received good news for their reimbursement efforts. The second largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurer in the US, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), has updated their coverage policy to include benefits for focused ultrasound treatment of painful bone metastases. The change converts reimbursement coverage from a case-by-case decision to a covered procedure.
"We are very happy that our efforts have yielded a favorable decision which will enable patients to benefit from a noninvasive treatment that quickly reduces pain, allows return to normal activities within days, and is available in leading medical centers across the US."– InSightec’s Global Reimbursement Director Dee Kolanek
According to the InSightec press release, the HCSC decision affects more than 14 million members who live in states including Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, New Mexico, and Montana. InSightec’s Global Reimbursement Director, Dee Kolanek, stated that the company is continually conducting independent post-market studies in efforts to build support for additional coverage by insurers.
Deadline January 5, 2015—the International Congress on Ultrasonics (ICU) will be held at l’Arsenal in Metz, France, May 10-15, 2015. The congress is hosted by Georgia Tech Lorraine in collaboration with the French Acoustical Society. The 2015 ICU will gather the very top researchers in the field of ultrasonics and will present a modern scientific program combining established research topics in combination with the newest emerging subjects. More information can be found at www.2015-icu-metz.gatech.edu. During the event, a special session dedicated entirely to the applications of therapeutic ultrasound will be organized.