The Focused Ultrasound Foundation (FUSF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, that promotes the use of image-guided focused ultrasound. The foundation receives some support from medical device manufacturers such as InSightec and Philips Healthcare, but is primarily funded through philanthropic donations.
The Foundation has received attention in part because of The Tumor, a novella by legal thriller writer John Grisham about a future glioma patient who is kept alive by repeated rounds of focused ultrasound treatment, which he is distributing at no cost to raise awareness about the therapy and the Foundation.
Focused Ultrasound Foundation Wikipedia
The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is dedicated to accelerating the development and adoption of patient treatments using image-guided focused ultrasound, and its main areas of involvement and support are research, collaboration, education and advocacy.
FUSF provides funding through its External Awards Program and its Internal Research Program. As of January 2013, the Foundation has provided more than $8 million in research funding. Of this, $3 million has been allocated to research awards for two types of investigator-initiated research projects: 1) preclinical and pilot clinical studies that promise to lead to the development of a reimbursable clinical indication for focused ultrasound within the next five to seven years; 2) high-risk, early-stage, proof-of-concept projects that are unlikely to receive funding from other sources, but that, if successful, could profoundly impact the advancement of the field of focused ultrasound. The remaining $5 million has been devoted to the Internal Awards Program, which currently funds two initiatives for advancing focused ultrasound treatments for the brain and for the liver and pancreas.
FUSF is creating several Centers of Excellence for establishing standards and best practices in research, teaching, and clinical care. The first FUSF designated Center of Excellence was dedicated at the University of Virginia Health System in September 2009.In September 2013, the Foundation and Philips entered into a public-private collaboration with The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to create a Center of Excellence dedicated to oncologic applications of the technology at the ICR in London. The Foundation is also creating a global Collaborative Network consisting of investigators, research and treatment sites, government agencies and industry. The Foundation organizes invitational workshops, primarily for brain and liver researchers. It also hosts the bi-annual International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound. The fourth symposium will be held October 12–16, 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland.
Reimbursement, patient access and regulatory affairs are areas where the Foundation plays an advocacy role. FUSF collaborates with researchers and industry to ensure that clinical study protocols capture the data needed to qualify for insurance coverage. The Foundation, Royal Philips and InSightec are collaborating with leading clinicians in the field to support the establishment of a multicenter global registry to evaluate MR-guided focused ultrasound treatment for uterine fibroids. Through its Regulatory Affairs Program, the Foundation has established an ongoing dialog with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding the potential of focused ultrasound and the use of new evaluation methods.