First U.S. patient undergoes new ultrasound procedure to relieve pain

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InSightec reported Monday that the first U.S. patient was treated with its non-invasive, radiation-free ExAblate MR-guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) system as a pain relieving treatment for patients with bone metastases, who have failed an initial round of palliative radiation.

InSightec said that MRgFUS technology combines MRI—to visualize the body anatomy, plan the treatment and monitor treatment outcome in real time—and high intensity focused ultrasound to thermally ablate tumors inside the body non-invasively. The patient is consciously sedated to alleviate pain and minimize motion.

The Tirat Carmel, Israel-based company is enrolling patients with bone metastases, who have failed palliative radiation therapy into the study, which is being conducted at 15 U.S. sites, including Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Methodist Hospital in Houston, University of California, San Diego Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

The company also said it is in the process of obtaining institutional review board approval from the remaining sites, including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Mount Sinai in Toronto, the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass., and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The ExAblate system was FDA approved to treat women suffering from symptomatic uterine fibroids in 2004.

InSightec noted that the ExAblate 2000 system received the European CE Mark certification for pain palliation of bone metastases in June.