News | August 25, 2008

MRI-Guided Focused Ultrasound Conference Targets Cancer, Stroke Treatments

August 25, 2008 - The Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation will host an international symposium dedicated to the current and future use of magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound surgery (MRgFUS), a therapeutic technology for treating a variety of medical conditions including cancer, neurological disorders and uterine fibroids.

The MRgFUS 2008 International Symposium, to be held on Oct, 6-7 in Washington, D.C., will feature more than 75 clinicians, scientists and engineers from over 12 countries who are contributing to the rapid advancement of this field. The multidisciplinary program will span the latest research, current and future clinical applications and practical issues related to adoption including best practices, training, and reimbursement.

MRgFUS is the result of the integration of two technologies: high intensity focused ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging. Focused ultrasound technology uses multiple intersecting beams of ultrasound energy focused with extreme precision on a target as small as 1mm in diameter. Each individual ultrasound beam passes through the tissue there is no effect, but where they intersect in the body, the focused energy creates a cumulative effect, enabling precise ablation of tissue, highly targeted drug delivery, or liquefaction of blood clots. Magnetic resonance imaging is used to visualize normal anatomy and abnormal structures within the body, to localize the tissue to be targeted, to guide and control the treatment interactively, and to evaluate the effectiveness of therapy.

MRgFUS is a minimally invasive surgery; a means for delivering drugs in high concentrations to the point where they are needed; and dissolving blood clots and restoring circulation. MRgFUS is already established for the treatment of uterine fibroids and holds the potential to noninvasively treat breast, prostate, liver and other benign and malignant tumors; to convert metastatic cancer from a lethal disease to a manageable, chronic disorder; to reverse the disabling and life threatening neurological deficits from stroke; to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and chronic pain; and to address the host of other disorders ranging from heart disease to diabetes.

MRgFUS can be performed on an outpatient basis, does not require general anesthesia or incisions, results in minimal discomfort and few complications, and allows rapid recovery.

For more information: www.fusfoundation.org

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