A Breakthrough Year for Focused Ultrasound
This has been a year of establishing new frontiers for focused ultrasound – in opening a gateway to the brain, expanding access for US patients, and having a bestselling author champion the technology to new audiences.
One of the greatest milestones was achieved this fall when the blood-brain barrier was opened non-invasively in a patient for the first time. This accomplishment by the team at Sunnybrook was the culmination of years of groundwork conducted by scientists and engineers at institutions around the globe. We are proud to support this important research, which is the predicate for using focused ultrasound to deliver therapeutics for a range of neurological conditions. We are particularly interested in the potential to treat Alzheimer’s disease, and we are submitting a protocol for an early stage clinical trial to begin in 2016.
Several important strides were made for US patients this year. Men will no longer need to travel abroad to receive prostate treatment, as both the SonaCare and EDAP systems were approved by the FDA. Women with uterine fibroids can now be treated faster with Insightec’s UF3 system, and private insurance companies are creating new policies to cover treatment for bone metastases.
In addition to supporting research, part of our core mission is to raise awareness among a range of stakeholders. We were delighted to have John Grisham write The Tumor, a fictional portrayal of focused ultrasound's potential to impact future health. He debuted the short book last month at TEDx Charlottesville, and since then we have had thousands of free books ordered. We hope you will continue to spread the word and share the TEDx video.
As we look toward 2016, we are excited to celebrate our 10th anniversary and our 5th Symposium. The theme for the Symposium is “Focused Ultrasound at the Tipping Point.” We are very close to this point – where the critical technical and scientific advances that so many of you have achieved are on the verge of translating into commercial successes that will benefit countless patients.
Thank you for being a part of this passionate community that will ultimately make this shift and change the lives of millions of patients.
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation team