London, England, 30 January 2023 – The UK Focused Ultrasound Foundation (UK FUSF), dedicated to advancing the development and adoption of focused ultrasound in the UK, today 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.
The Foundation will celebrate its launch with an event being held on 31 January at the House of Lords with important guests including MPs, members of the House of Lords, business leaders, and experts from medical charities and some of the UK’s leading research institutions, including the Institute of Cancer Research, Oxford University, and Imperial, King’s and University Colleges, London.
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.
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 pediatric 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.”
About the UK Focused Ultrasound Foundation
Together with our sister organisation in the US, the UK Focused Ultrasound Foundation is working to provide patients with this noninvasive, life-changing treatment option in the shortest time possible. The UK FUSF will contribute financial and human resources to foster collaboration, to build knowledge and to streamline the process and overcome barriers. Focused ultrasound research in the UK has been funded by the US Foundation since 2009.
About Focused Ultrasound
Focused ultrasound uses ultrasound energy guided by real-time imaging to treat tissue deep in the body without incisions or radiation. It is approved in the UK to treat prostate cancer and essential tremor. Dozens of additional indications are approved elsewhere in the world, including the United States, Europe and Asia. The technology is in various stages of research and development for nearly 170 diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, metastatic breast tumours, and tumours of the brain, liver and pancreas.
Click here to watch a 6-minute video about focused ultrasound in the UK.
Lacie Riseborough, UK Focused Ultrasound Foundation
(Mobile) +44 7907 467 881
1.National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 2005. High-intensity focused ultrasound for prostate cancer. Interventional procedures guidance [IPG118]. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ipg118/chapter/1-Guidance. Last accessed January 2023.
2. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 2018. Unilateral MRI-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy for treatment-resistant essential tremor. Interventional procedures guidance [IPG617]. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ipg617/chapter/1-Recommendations. Last accessed January 2023.