Video • Foundation announces launch
Championing focused ultrasound in the UK
The UK Focused Ultrasound Foundation (UK FUSF), dedicated to advancing the development and adoption of focused ultrasound in the UK, announced its formal launch.
Focused ultrasound is a groundbreaking platform technology that uses ultrasound energy guided by real-time imaging to treat tissue deep in the body, without incisions or radiation.
Currently, focused ultrasound treatment for both prostate cancer and essential tremor has National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approval and National Health Service England (NHS) coverage.1,2 The technology has 32 regulatory approvals worldwide and is in various stages of research and development for nearly 170 diseases and conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, metastatic breast tumours, and tumours of the brain, liver, pancreas, and prostate.
Sound has been the stuff I work with every day of my life. It’s thrilling to see how powerful it can be when ingeniously applied to healthcarePeter Gabriel
Launch of the UK FUSF will help enable donations to be applied directly to laboratory research and clinical trials in the UK, accelerating and expanding the exceptional work that has been ongoing for several years. It is hoped this will significantly increase the accessibility to already approved focused ultrasound-based treatments, which currently have limited availability in the UK. Specific areas of focus for the UK FUSF include cancer immunotherapy, brain diseases, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and paediatric applications. “Our vision at the Foundation is for focused ultrasound to be used in the UK to improve the lives of millions of people afflicted with a wide variety of serious medical disorders in the shortest time possible,” said Foundation Chairman Philip Keevil. “By identifying opportunities, inspiring collaboration, raising awareness and overcoming barriers, the Foundation will shorten the time from laboratory research to widespread treatment using this remarkable and versatile technology.”
The UK FUSF is an independent charity registered with the Charity Commission and HMRC, and GiftAid Eligible. It works closely with, but is independent of, the US-based Focused Ultrasound Foundation, aligning on goals and resources to advance focused ultrasound to treat millions worldwide. The Institute of Cancer Research in the UK was selected in 2013 by the US organization as the second global Focused Ultrasound “Center of Excellence” (there are now only 10 worldwide).
UK FUSF is already partnering with the prostate cancer charity Prost8 UK and focused ultrasound device manufacturer Sonablate to increase access of focused ultrasound treatment for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer by co-funding the deployment early this year of a new prostate cancer treatment device at Guys & St Thomas’ Hospital in London. “I’ve been studying the use of focused ultrasound technology in oncology and have worked with the US Foundation for many years,” said Professor Gail ter Haar of The Institute of Cancer Research. “The launch of the UK FUSF is an incredibly important milestone. This organisation will further catalyse development and adoption of the technology, bringing much needed innovative new treatments to our community and beyond.”
The potential of focused ultrasound to be a game-changing treatment for so many diseases has attracted the attention of celebrities including musician Peter Gabriel, an honorary member of the UK FUSF Advisory Council. Said Mr. Gabriel, “Sound has been the stuff I work with every day of my life. It’s thrilling to see how powerful it can be when ingeniously applied to healthcare. I’m delighted to see these pioneering technologies take root in the UK.”
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 2005. High-intensity focused ultrasound for prostate cancer. Interventional procedures guidance [IPG118].
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 2018. Unilateral MRI-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for treatment-resistant essential tremor. Interventional procedures guidance [IPG617].
Source: UK Focused Ultrasound Foundation