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Newsletter of the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation
Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation
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NEWSLETTER VOL. 38
December 2011
FUS Foundation Website link spacer FUS Foundation Blog spacer Foundaion Brochure link spacer Newsletter Archives link
 
Also in this Issue:
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New initiative will advance FUS therapies for liver and pancreatic tumors >


Site update: Sunnybrook dedicates new Biomedical Imaging Research Suite >

Vendor profile: French start-up, Theraclion >

Essential tremor study treats final patient >

Presentations by ET clinical team and patient are now online >

SF Chronicle reports status of ExAblate bone mets studies >

Amper Kliniken passes 500-patient mark >

GE Healthcare CEO blogs about FUS therapy >

Ronit Matchinger, MD completes FUS fellowship >

FUSF Council meeting highlights 2011 accomplishments >

FUSF unveils new research site webpage >

Focused ultrasound will be theme of January 2012 Neurosurgical Focus >
 
More about FUSF
Vision and Mission
Strategic Focus
Board of Directors
Staff
Annual Report
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More than 135k people have viewed focused ultrasound video within first week of its posting on TEDtalk and TEDMED

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Everyone interested in focused ultrasound therapy will want to join the more than 135,000 people who have already watched the online video of Yoav Medan's"audience-wowing" talk at TEDMED 2011.

Entitled, Is It Still Surgery If You Don't Cut Anything?, Medan's talk was posted December 8 on the highly popular and widely accessed TED and TEDMED websites. His presentation used powerful visuals and compelling patient stories to describe the development, capabilities and uses of MR-guided focused ultrasound.

Information on the TED site indicates that its 135k hit count probably captures only half of total views. Downloaded videos and sites like TEDMED and Youtube may generate an equal amount of viewership.

A nonprofit established in 1984, TED originally hosted conferences that brought together people from three worlds: technology, entertainment and design. Although the organization has broadened its scope over the years, it has held true to its mission of spreading ideas that change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.

TEDMED is a TED spin-off that hosts annual conferences dedicated to developing a better future for health and medicine. Conferences feature talks by leaders and innovators in medicine, science, business and technology. The inclusion of focused ultrasound on the TEDMED 2011 agenda placed it among an elite set of breakthroughs shared with a world-class audience.

Combined with last month's coverage in TIME magazine (which has 3.37 million subscribers), inclusion on the TED and TEDMED websites is raising the profile of focused ultrasound to unprecedented levels. This welcomed recognition also validates focused ultrasound's stature as a game-changing technology and indicates the enormous impact it could have on healthcare worldwide.

We encourage you to watch this exciting video and to send the TED and TEDMED links to your family, friends and colleagues. Help turn "medicine's best kept secret" into its most widely known and available noninvasive therapy

See the TEDMED presentation video and follow-up Q&A follow-up with Yoav Medan here:
http://www.fusfoundation.org/tedmed

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New FUS Foundation initiative will advance focused ultrasound therapies for liver and pancreatic tumors

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Arik Hananel, MD

To better support patients' needs and advance the foundation's mission of accelerating the development and adoption of clinical indications, the FUS Foundation is transitioning the work of its Focal Drug Delivery Program to two other initiatives.

First is the newly created Liver/Pancreas Program, which will concentrate on advancing focused ultrasound therapies for two of the most deadly, prevalent and difficult to treat cancers. The Liver/Pancreas Program will build upon the work done by participants of the foundation's 2010 Targeted Drug Delivery Core Stakeholders Meeting and the March 2011 Focal Drug Delivery Workshop. The program will continue working in collaboration with the medical community to develop liver and pancreatic applications.

Second is the Brain Program, which will oversee research related to focal drug delivery and blood brain barrier opening in glioblastoma multiforma and other brain tumors.

"Although we continue to view focal drug delivery as an area of immense potential, the foundation is a patient centric-organization that is dedicated to treating diseases by accelerating translational research," explains Scientific and Medical Director Arik Hananel, MD, who is leading the Liver/Pancreas Program. "This shift in strategy represents an evolutionary step for us. We believe the greatest impact can be achieved by advancing indication-specific focused ultrasound therapies rather than championing a particular mechanistic approach to treatment."

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Site update: Sunnybrook opens doors to new Biomedical Imaging Research Suite
Leading-edge facility will advance work in image-guided therapeutics and technology development

By Eleni Kanavas, Communications Coordinator, Sunnybrook Research Institute, Toronto, Canada

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Kullervo Hynynen, PhD

Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) officially opened its biomedical imaging research suite on November 10, 2011. The event was part of SRI's second annual research day for the Centre for Research in Image-Guided Therapeutics (CeRIGT).

"With this facility, we now have the infrastructure to do MR-guided and CT-guided interventions, either clinically or to test new therapeutics," said Kullervo Hynynen, PhD, director of physical sciences at SRI and project lead of CeRIGT.

Hynynen also highlighted the importance of partnerships; SRI's industry partners include Bruker, GE Healthcare, InSightec, Philips Healthcare and Toshiba, among others.

Read More >

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Vendor profile: Theraclion is pioneering FUS treatments for breast, thyroid and parathyroid tumors
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TH-One ultrasonic ablation system

Start-up French device maker, Theraclion, continues to break new clinical ground with its TH-One ultrasonic ablation system. Last month, the company announced early success in the noninvasive treatment of patients with breast fibroadenomas, which are benign tumors that affect about one in ten women and are especially problematic for those under 30 years old. The good news has prompted the company to launch a second breast fibroadenoma study at sites in Paris and in Lille.

The TH-One received CE-marking in 2007 for thyroid and parathyroid applications, and Theralcion's Vice President of Marketing and Sales, David Del Bourgo, MBA, says the system may soon be evaluated for yet another indication - metastatic bone tumors.

Read More >

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Final patient treated in FUS Foundation-funded essential tremor study
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After receiving the final treatment in the Essential Tremor clinical trial at UVA, Patient #15 (top row wearing cap) joined the entire study team for a celebratory photo.

The last of 15 patients was treated this month in the world's first clinical trial using MR-guided focused ultrasound as a therapy for essential tremor. The single-site pilot study, which has been funded by the FUS Foundation, began in February 2011 at the University of Virginia with neurosurgeon W. Jeffrey Elias, MD serving as principal investigator.

All study participants are being followed for three-months, and final clinical trial data is expected to be available in March 2012. Elias will present that data at the 2012 American Academy of Neurological Surgeons meeting, scheduled for April 14-19.

Preliminary study data, which was presented by Elias at the 2011 Congress of Neurological Surgeons meeting in October, was highly promising. The study's first 10 patients experienced a 78 percent improvement in contralateral tremor scores in their dominant hand, as assessed with the Clinical Rating Scale for Tremor (CRST). Patients' functional activities scores improved by 92 percent, as measured in the 'Disability' subsection of the CRST. Elias said that outcomes and complications were comparable to other procedures for tremor, including stereotactic thalamotomy and deep brain stimulation.

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Essential tremor clinical team, patient presentations are now online

Audio/slide presentations by W. Jeffrey Elias, MD and his clinical team at the University of Virginia are now available for viewing on the FUS Foundation website. These talks provide a wealth of background information and were given at a special event organized in September 2011 by the Essential Tremor Support Group in Charlottesville, Virginia. The presentations are:

Clinical Trial Background - Johanna Loomba, CCRC, Research Coordinator

MR-guided Focused Ultrasound Thalamotomy for Medication- Refractory Essential Tremor - W. Jeffrey Elias, MD, Principal Investigator

Focused Ultrasound Clinical Trial Assessments - Diane S. Huss, PT, DPT, NCS, Board Certified Neurologic Physical Therapist

Personal Experience of a Focused Ultrasound Treatment Patient - John Watterson

See all videos online here:
http://www.fusfoundation.org/Newsletter-Articles/essential-tremor-clinical-team-patient-presentations-are-now-online

Related content: ET Study patient videos on YouTube

Billy Williams - First patient treated in the ET study describes his experience.

John Watterson - The fifth patient treated in the ET study and his wife describe the emotions involved in preparing for and receiving treatment in a clinical trial.

 

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San Francisco Chronicle reports status of ExAblate bone mets studies

In a report published on December 5, 2011, the San Francisco Chronicle announced that Stanford University and the University of California San Francisco are recruiting patients with metastatic bone cancer for two clinical trials that are evaluating MR-guided focused ultrasound for pain palliation.

The report, which was written by Chronicle staff writer Erin Allday, noted, "Earlier studies of the ultrasound treatment have been promising, and a study recently completed at Stanford and 16 other U.S. research sites found that most patients saw substantial improvement in pain control after radiation therapy had failed to work."

The report also notes that the study used the ExAblate 2000 and involved about 150 metastatic bone cancer patients. Results have been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval.

For more information about the Stanford trial, go to links.sfgate.com/ZLEZ; for the UCSF trial, go to links.sfgate.com/ZLEY.

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Germany's Amper Kliniken surpasses 500-patient mark
Center is treating uterine fibroid patients with newest ExAblate System
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Matthias Matzko, MD

In an email sent on December 7, 2011, Matthias Matzko, MD, head of Interventional and Diagnostic Radiology at Amper Kliniken AG in Dachau, Germany wrote, "We are proud to announce that we passed the 500th treatment in total for uterine fibroid ablation with MRgFUS last week. With the new ExAblate ONE System, we already have the experience of more than 230 treatments with a significant higher rate of success with this new technology in comparison to the old system ExAblate 2000."

The 450-bed center began performing focused ultrasound procedures for uterine fibroids in 2008 and opened expanded facilities in March 2010. Seven months later, it became one of the first sites in the world to install the new ExAblate ONE, the second generation system developed by GE Healthcare and InSightec.
Recognized internationally as a leading advocate for MR-guided focused ultrasound, Matzko has not only created the most successful and busiest focused ultrasound center in Europe, but also convinced leading insurers to provide reimbursement for the uterine fibroid treatments he performs. In the future, he plans to expand treatment offerings to include new applications of the technology.

Related information:
June 2011 interview with Matthias Matzko, MD, Amper Kliniken AG, Dachau, Germany - German radiologist leads the way in surmounting FUS reimbursement barriers

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GE Healthcare CEO Thomas Gentile blogs about FUS therapy
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Thomas Gentile

GE Healthcare President and CEO Thomas Gentile recently blogged about his October 2011 visit to the Focused Ultrasound Center at the University of Virginia (UVA). Gentile was accompanied by two other GE Healthcare executives - MR business leader Jim Davis and Chief Counsel Curt Brueske.

In his blog, which was distributed to GE Healthcare employees, Gentile explained how he first learned about focused ultrasound during a visit to India and visited UVA at the at the invitation of Kobi Vortman, CEO of InSightec, maker of the focused ultrasound devices installed at that center. Gentile described how focused ultrasound works and how procedures are performed. The UVA visit, he said, included an opportunity to observe a research procedure and a hands-on exercise in which he and his colleagues scanned a phantom and programmed the FUS device to ablate a target within it.

Read Gentile's blog post >

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Ronit Matchinger, MD completes FUS Foundation-funded fellowship
Research investigated key issues in uterine fibroid treatments
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Ronit Machtinger, MD

Ronit Machtinger, MD
has completed a FUS Foundation-funded, fellowship at the Brigham & Women's Hospital (BMH) in Boston, MA. Her fellowship mentors were Clare Tempany, MD and Fiona Fennessey, MD.

An Israeli gynecologist, Machtinger will return to Sheba Medical Center next summer, where she will resume her gynecology practice and continue her work in focused ultrasound. In the meantime, she is completing a research fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at BWH and is writing a book chapter with Fennessey about focused ultrasound treatment of uterine fibroids.

During her fellowship, Machtinger worked on two key research projects. The first investigated how to successfully treat uterine fibroid patients who have scar tissue from previous pelvic surgeries. The second assessed clinical trial data to determine if focused ultrasound is a viable treatment option for African American women.

Machtinger and her BWH colleagues published a case report about successfully treating a patient with scar tissue this year in ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology. Findings related to the treatment of African American women are pending publication.

Read More >

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FUS Foundation Council reviews 2011 accomplishments at recent meeting

By Kimberly Skelly, FUS Foundation Director of Development

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FUSF Council meeting attendees: (left to right) Gene Fife, Paula Newcomb, Jane Batten, Dan Jordan, Neal Kassell, MD, Cessie Howell, Tom Chewning, Wyndham Robertson, Dorothy Batten, Alice Siegel and Nancy Chewning.

A highly enthusiastic, encouraging and supportive group, the FUS Foundation Council met on November 18 to review key accomplishments of 2011. The group also discussed how best to raise visibility and awareness for focused ultrasound therapies and the FUS Foundation's fundraising efforts.

The Council is a volunteer advisory committee comprised of dedicated individuals who work closely with the FUS Foundation board and staff.  The Council's mission is to advise and assist the FUS Foundation by offering counsel, organizing cultivation events and helping to advance the FUS Foundation's mission of accelerating the development and adoption of focused ultrasound in order to improve lives in the shortest amount of time possible. 

The Council is led by co-chairs, Dorothy Batten, who also serves on the Foundation's Board of Directors, and Charles H. Seilheimer, Jr., a longtime supporter and advocate.

For information on supporting the FUS Foundation, please read more.

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FUS Foundation unveils new webpage with comprehensive listing of sites, researchers and projects

A comprehensive and up-to-date list of focused ultrasound sites with links to investigators and projects has been posted on a newly-designed section of the FUS Foundation's website.

"By making this information available, FUSF aims to increase transparency and foster global collaboration within the research community," explains Heather Huff-Simonin, MBA, director of Global Business Development.

She invites research sites to review the information posted about their activities and personnel to ensure that it is accurate and complete. Click here to access the new webpage.

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Focused ultrasound will be theme of January 2012 Neurosurgical Focus
Selection brings FUS to the attention of the neurosurgical community

Focused ultrasound will be the theme of the January 2012 issue of Neurosurgical Focus, a peer-reviewed, online publication produced by the Journal of Neurosurgery (JNS) Publishing Group which is the scholarly publication arm of the American Association of Neurosurgeons.

Free to the public, Neurosurgical Focus covers a different topic in depth each month. Each issue is considered a state-of-the-art "textbook chapter" in the field of neurosurgery. 

"Having focused ultrasound selected as a topic is significant. It indicates that the JNS considers FUS to be a topic that is sufficiently developed and important enough to devote an issue to it." explains John Snell, PhD, technical director of the FUS Foundation’s Brain Program. "While the recent coverage in TIME Magazine highlighted the technology to a general audience, this issue of Neurosurgical Focus will bring focused ultrasound to the attention of the neurosurgical community. This further underscores that we have turned a corner with the technology."

Neurosurgical Focus can be accessed at:  http://thejns.org/

The articles scheduled for the January issue are:

Jeanmonod D, Werner B, Morel A , Michels L, Zadicario E, Schiff G, Martin E. Transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound: non-invasive central lateral thalamotomy against chronic neuropathic pain. Neurosurg Focus. Forthcoming 2012.

Moser D, Zadicario E, Schiff G, Jeanmonod D. Measurement of targeting accuracy in focused ultrasound functional neurosurgery: a technical note.Neurosurg Focus. Forthcoming 2012.

Etame A, Diaz R, Smith C, Mainprize T, Hynynen H, Rutka J. Focused ultrasound disruption of the blood-brain barrier: a new frontier for therapeutic delivery in molecular neuro-oncology. Neurosurg Focus. Forthcoming 2012.

Liu HL, Yang HW, Hua MY, Wei KC. Enhanced therapeutic agent delivery via MRI-monitored focused ultrasound blood-brain barrier disruption for brain tumor treatment: an overview of the current preclinical status. Neurosurg Focus. Forthcoming 2012.

Bor-Seng-Shu E, Nogueira R, Figueiredo EG, Evaristo EF, Conforto AB, Teixeira MJ. Sonothrombolysis for acute ischemic stroke: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Neurosurg Focus. Forthcoming 2012.

 

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Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation | 1230 Cedars Court, Suite F | Charlottesville VA | 22902

Questions and comments about this newsletter should be sent to the Foundation's Director of Communications, Ellen C. McKenna ()



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