The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden Celebrate Opening of Focused Ultrasound Center of Excellence in London
Thomas Andreae (Philips), Gail ter Haar (ICR), Heather Huff-Simonin and Jessica Foley (FUSF), and Nandita DeSousa (ICR)
The first clinical trial has begun at the new Focused Ultrasound Foundation Center of Excellence (COE) at the Institute of Cancer Research, London. This center is a public-private collaboration between the Foundation, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), Philips Healthcare, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to create a state-of-the-art resource for clinicians and scientists to develop clinical evidence and establish best practices, treatment standards, and protocols for the use of focused ultrasound in the treatment of cancer patients.
On September 19th, leaders, researchers, and physicians from the ICR and The Royal Marsden gathered together at the organization's shared site in Sutton, south London, to mark the beginning of the first clinical trial and celebrate the COE's grand opening. More than 50 experts gathered to:
Learn about the initiation of a multicenter bone metastases clinical trial
Discuss focused ultrasound's capabilities and its potential to treat a wide variety of cancers through multiple mechanisms of action
The multicenter clinical trial is at an early stage, but researchers have treated two patients who were suffering from painful bone metastases. Nandita DeSouza, MD, Co-Director of the COE, Professor of Translational Imaging at the ICR, and Honorary Consultant at The Royal Marsden said, "We're still learning how best to use focused ultrasound, but our experience with the two patients we have treated so far has been very positive. We've successfully managed to target the ultrasound on metastatic lesions, and while it is early days, our patients do seem to be gaining real benefits from the treatment in terms of the levels of pain they are experiencing. We're excited at the potential of this treatment to bring real improvements in quality of life."
Professor and physicist Gail ter Haar, DSc, Leader of the Therapeutic Ultrasound Team at the ICR, was thrilled with the attendance. She commented that, "The open discussion between department heads and researchers, the enthusiasm for the current project, and the keen interest from many different clinicians was exactly what we were hoping for when planning today’s events."...
It only happens every other year, and this time we received more than 200 abstracts! The top researchers will be here, so don't miss your opportunity to meet with colleagues, plan collaborations, discover the latest research, and uncover industry trends. The Washington, DC metro area is the place to be in just three weeks. Final details for the 2014 Symposium are coming soon and will include:
The Final Program
Abstract and Presenter Information on Your Mobile Device
Young Investigator Awards and Global Intern Information
Keynote Speeches by Inspiring Innovators
Our multifaceted exploration of the current and future applications of focused ultrasound technology includes plenary sessions, panel discussions, poster presentations, exhibits, and plenty of time to network with those who share your vision.
Focused Ultrasound Discussion Makes Waves at Virginia Biotechnology Event
A video of the discussion (approximately 55 minutes) is available. Virginia Bio advocates for its more than 200 biopharmaceutical and device industry members on federal, state, and local issues.
Dr. Kassell Outlines the Vision and Value of Focused Ultrasound in Two Healthcare Industry Publications
One important role of the Foundation is to educate healthcare business leaders and other key stakeholders about the progress and impact of focused ultrasound technology. Recently, Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD, outlined the proposed value of the technology through bylined articles in two industry forums.
In Focused Ultrasound: New Technology for the New Paradigm, published in the September issue of DOTmed's HealthCareBusiness news, Dr. Kassell describes the lessons of innovation, the value of noninvasive technologies, and the role of focused ultrasound in the current healthcare environment. DOTmed HealthCareBusiness news is also our media partner for this year's symposium.
The Foundation has recruited Mike Cashman as Co-Director of Development. Mike joins Pamela Minetti to expand the development effort and take the Foundation's unique venture philanthropy model to new supporters, increase the reach of our message, and create novel partnerships with like-minded organizations. The addition of this position will further the Foundation's efforts to accelerate the development of new applications of focused ultrasound and its widespread adoption as a standard of care. Prior to joining the Foundation,
"We are delighted that the world-class University of Maryland neuroscience team is helping to lead the research effort. Professionals across the field as well as patients will ultimately benefit from their dedication to science and advancing clinical care." – Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD
University of Maryland to Become Major Focused Ultrasound Neuroscience Research Center
Patients from Across the Country Participating in Essential Tremor Trial
The University of Maryland's pioneering Neuroscience Center in Baltimore is poised to become a leading hub for focused ultrasound research. They recently began treating patients in the pivotal trial to treat essential tremor using InSightec's ExAblate Neuro system.
Left to Right: InSightec's Mor Dyan, Charlene Aldrich, Howard Eisenberg, Deeraj Ghandi, Paul Fishman, Andy Hebel, Erma Owens, and Pamela Janocha
"Our entire movement disorders team of neurologists, neuroradiologists, and surgeons is enthusiastic about participating in this groundbreaking research," says Dr. Howard Eisenberg, Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine. "We believe that focused ultrasound will be an important part of our neurosurgical program and a valued solution for patients seeking relief for their tremor."
There is significant interest in the study at the University of Maryland, with several patients enrolled to date and more than 30 from around the country that have contacted the center in the past few months. “Most of the patients that have approached us have done their homework on focused ultrasound. They want a noninvasive treatment and are willing to participate in a clinical trial to advance the development of the technology,” notes Dr. Eisenberg.
Brigham Researchers Demonstrate Real-time Microbubble Monitoring for Transcranial Focused Ultrasound
Potential Boon to Future Regulatory Approval of Non-thermal Brain Applications Also Wins Prestigious Research Prize
The Roberts Prize for the best article published in Physics in Medicine and Biology was recently awarded to Costas Arvanitis, Margaret Livingstone, and Nathan McDannold from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston for their article "Combined Ultrasound and MR Imaging to Guide Focused Ultrasound Therapies in the Brain." More than a way to monitor focused ultrasound (FUS), such as FUS-induced blood-brain barrier disruption, their work could likely be a key to demonstrating the level of safety required by regulatory agencies who will review focused ultrasound treatment of brain conditions.
Could focused ultrasound be a safer and more effective treatment for hypersplenism (a common disease where the spleen is overactive and removes blood cells too early and too quickly) than current conventional treatments? When it comes to biomedical engineering, focused ultrasound transducers can have complicated geometric patterns – is 3D printing the answer to their fabrication?
This month, we highlight the company behind the new focused ultrasound Center of Excellence (COE) in London: Philips Healthcare. Thanks to Philips' generous support and impressive scientific vision, the COE is established at the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) at The Royal Marsden Hospital's Sutton, Surrey site and will advance focused ultrasound treatment of cancer.
To learn more about the MR-HIFU division of this global company, we interviewed Thomas Andreae, PhD, the Marketing Director for MR-Therapy at Philips Healthcare based in Helsinki, Finland. This Q & A session reveals the key technological elements that make the Sonalleve system unique, the company's vision for new indications, and clinical research that may be on the horizon.
"We want to expand the scope of indications in oncology for our current technology platform beyond pain palliation of bone metastases." – Thomas Andreae, PhD
Kona Medical Announces WAVE IV Clinical Trial
Kona Medical has begun the WAVE IV clinical trial for its Surround Sound® Hypertension Therapy System at sites in Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and South America. The randomized, sham-controlled, double-blinded trial will treat 132 patients with high blood pressure that is resistant to changes in diet and medication.
Results from the WAVE I and WAVE II studies demonstrated a measurable response in approximately 75% of patients at 6 months and an excellent safety profile. Data from the WAVE III study of noninvasive renal denervation will be presented at medical conferences this fall.
InSightec Raises $50M to Finance Clinical Research and Market Development
In two recent press releases, InSightec announced $50 million in new funding from York Capital Management and a group of Chinese investors. According to the company, the infusion of new capital will enable expansion of the business through market development, sales and marketing, and clinical trials support to generate the evidence needed for regulatory approvals and widespread reimbursement. The most recent $12.5 million investment from China includes Shanghai GEOC, Hengtong Investment Limited Partnership, and Fortune China.
"We see this investment as a vote of confidence in InSightec, its technology, and its future. This capital will also be highly instrumental for achieving commercial success." – Tom Gentile, InSightec's Chairman of the Board