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March 23, 2016

Haifa, Israel (March 22nd, 2016). INSIGHTEC, the global leader in MR guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) therapy was a major contributor to the success of the 16th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound 2016 (ISTU) in Tel Aviv, Israel. Over 200 participants attended the meeting which provided scientists, engineers, clinicians and industry leaders the opportunity to share their new research findings, to exchange ideas and to foster collaboration.


Keynote speakers promoting MRgFUS technology included presentations from:

• Kobi Vortman, PhD, Founder and Vice Chairman, INSIGHTEC: “MRgFUS, Crossing the Chasm from Proof of Concept to Mainstream Treatment Alternative.”

• Pejman Ghanouni, MD, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine: “MR Guided Focused Ultrasound Treatment of Soft Tissue Tumors of the Extremities.”


A main highlight of the ISTU symposium was a first time live broadcast from the MRI room at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.   The ISTU attendees witnessed a live Exablate Neuro treatment on a patient with essential tremor. The treatment was conducted by Neurosurgeon, Menashe Zaaroor, MD;  Neurophysiologist, Alon Sinai, MD; Neurologist, Ilana Schlesinger, MD; and Radiologist, Dorith Goldsher, MD. The three-hour procedure was performed while the patient was fully conscious, with no incisions and no anesthesia.


During the procedure, the INSIGHTEC Exablate Neuro system was used to focus multiple beams of acoustic energy to heat and destroy target cells in the thalamus. The target cells were visualized in real time using MR imaging.


The results were immediate. The patient, a sixty-five-year-old baker, said “I wanted to cry, because I could not remember when I was able to drink a glass of water, and for the first time in over ten years, I can finally return to serving people in my bakery.” Immediately post procedure, the patient was able to walk from the MR room, sit down and cut cake in celebration of the success of her procedure. 


We are excited to offer our patients a new, non-invasive therapy to control their movement disorders,” said Professor Menashe Zaaroor, Head of Neurosurgery at Rambam Medical Center. “Utilization of MR-guided focused ultrasound could help limit the life-altering side effects of essential tremor, to make the disease more manageable and less debilitating.”


“This patient suffered from essential tremor for over 10 years.  She tried every medication that exists and she did not want deep brain stimulation or electrodes planted on her brain. This procedure was very short, and within 3 hours, our patient was without tremor.” said Neurologist, Ilana Schlesinger. “We had our first patient two years ago and she is still without tremor. I think it is the most gratifying and amazing treatment that exists.  Pre-treatment, all of our patients suffer from severe tremor and they all come out of the Exablate Neuro treatment without it. I call it magic,” added Dr. Schlesinger.


“The scientific level of the ISTU conference was outstanding. The audience included worldwide leading scientists and clinicians using focused ultrasound to treat a variety of diseases in areas throughout the body.  Nevertheless many of them haven’t had the opportunity to witness an actual brain procedure, and it was very emotional and encouraging for them to see the technology in action,” said Jean Francois Aubry, President of the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound. 


“INSIGHTEC is proud to be a major contributor to the success of the 16th ISTU Symposium,” said Eyal Zadicario, INSIGHTEC’s General Manager. “It is very gratifying to see that what started as an idea with a group of scientists is now a therapy that was able to alleviate the debilitating symptoms of the patient. I would like to thank the ISTU team for making it possible to broadcast a treatment live to an audience who can appreciate this technological breakthrough. INSIGHTEC is proud to be the global leader in MRgFUS technology and we are so glad to have medical centers like Rambam adopting the innovation into clinical practice.” 


To see Israeli Ynet’s video coverage of the treatment click here


Photo credits: Pioter Fliter, Rambam Medical Center

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