It’s been quite a year for MR- guided Focused Ultrasound Surgery (MRg- FUS). Less than a year after the installation of the National Institute of Health- funded system at UCSF, focused ultrasound has been named one of the 50 most inspired ideas, innovations and revolutions of 2011 by TIME Magazine. In July 2010, UCSF became the first site in the country to be awarded a high- end instrumentation grant from the NIH for the purchase of this cutting edge therapeutic technology.
MRg- FUS combines two well known medical technologies, high intensity focused ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, to generate heat by focusing ultrasound waves, destroying targeted tissue at the focal point. The technology has the potential to treat a variety of medical problems, including certain diseases with no known solutions.
The increased exposure of the revolutionary surgery in TIME “marks a critical inflection point for focused ultrasound therapy. We can finally stop calling it ‘medicine’s best kept secret’ because the word is getting out,” says Neal Kassell, MD, FUS Foundation Chairman. According to Dr. Kassel, “Once the medical community understands that focused ultrasound can destroy tumors, dissolve clots, relieve pain and deliver medicines to precise targets without damaging incisions, this remarkable technology will become a standard of care for many of today’s most deadly and debilitating conditions.”