Focused Ultrasound Foundation establishes pioneering research initiative in London under international center of excellence program

September 5, 2013

Focused Ultrasound Foundation, Royal Philips, The Institute of Cancer Research, and The Royal Marsden collaborate in center to accelerate progress and establish global standards for focused ultrasound treatment  -  enhancing patient care around the world


London, UK – The Focused Ultrasound Foundation and Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) have entered into an innovative public-private collaboration with The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. The partnership will create a focal point for ultrasound therapy research at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden in London under the international Focused Ultrasound Foundation Centers of Excellence Program.


The new initiative will create a state-of-the-art resource for clinicians and scientists working on high intensity focused ultrasound therapy, developing clinical evidence in oncology and establishing best practices, treatment standards and protocols. Focused ultrasound concentrates ultrasound energy with high precision on target tissue in the body to thermally destroy tissue. The technology is coupled with image guidance to identify, target and track the treatment in real time.  The initiative will launch this autumn with a clinical trial to evaluate treatment of bone metastases in cancer patients. A similar center was established at the University of Virginia in 2009 to advance the use of focused ultrasound, with an emphasis on brain disorders.


“High intensity focused ultrasound therapy has tremendous potential in oncology and many other key clinical areas,” noted Gail ter Haar, DSc., coordinator of the initiative. “To achieve this, we need to collaborate in new ways, establish standards for consistent delivery of treatment and train those who will deliver that care. All of that will be happening here, thanks to the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. We are excited and honored to be a part of the network whose aim is to improve treatment outcomes for patients around the world.”  


The Focused Ultrasound Foundation is the catalyst for the collaboration and its leadership will actively engage with the ICR, The Royal Marsden and Philips to help guide progress towards standard-setting translational and clinical research, training and treatment. In establishing the Focused Ultrasound Centers of Excellence Program, the Foundation brings together the best people and resources at luminary research sites throughout the world in the dynamic multi-disciplinary environment necessary to foster those activities critical to accelerating progress towards better patient outcomes.


“The new initiative established at the ICR and The Royal Marsden under the Focused Ultrasound Foundation Centers of Excellence Program is an important step forward for the technology,” noted Neal F. Kassell, M.D., founder and chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “Our Centers of Excellence not only demonstrate exceptional technical and clinical expertise in the field of focused ultrasound, but also contribute to a synergistic network, leveraging expertise and sharing best practices.”


“Our contribution to the center will help to bring focused ultrasound technology to a higher level of maturity and shape the standard of care for patients around the world,” said Falko Busse, General Manager MR-Therapy at Philips Healthcare. “The ICR and The Royal Marsden are a perfect choice, being established global leaders in cancer research with an impressive track record of bringing new technologies and approaches to cancer care along with rigorous evidence-based standards. Prof. Ter Haar and her group are pioneers in focused ultrasound therapy and are particularly strong in the standardization necessary for widespread adoption.”


The center will be led by Prof. Gail ter Haar and Prof. Nandita deSouza. Prof. Ter Haar heads the ICR’s Therapy Ultrasound Team. She is a leading physicist in the field, having researched the basic science behind the technique, participating in early clinical trials and advancing device development. Prof. deSouza is the new initiative’s clinical director. She is the lead academic radiologist at the ICR and The Royal Marsden, with an international reputation in MRI, and has run pilot clinical trials of MR-guided thermal therapies.

MR-guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (MR-HIFU) system

MR-guided HIFU treatment

For further information, please contact:

Rachel Bloom-Baglin
Philips Healthcare
Tel: +1 978 7609007


Steve Klink
Philips Corporate Communications
Tel.: +31 6 10888824


Dr. Claire Bithell 
The Institute of Cancer Research
Tel: +44 (0)207 153 5359


Susan Klees
Focused Ultrasound Foundation
Tel: +1 434 326-9833


About the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR)

The Institute of Cancer Research, London, is one of the world’s most influential cancer research institutes. Scientists and clinicians at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) are working every day to make a real impact on cancer patients’ lives. Through its unique partnership with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and ‘bench-to-bedside’ approach, the ICR is able to create and deliver results in a way that other institutions cannot. Together the two organisations are rated in the top four cancer centres globally. The ICR’s mission is to make the discoveries that defeat cancer.
For more information, visit


About the Royal Marsden

The Royal Marsden opened its doors in 1851 as the world’s first hospital dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education. Today, together with its academic partner, The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), it is the largest and most comprehensive cancer centre in Europe treating over 50,000 NHS and private patients every year.  It is a centre of excellence with an international reputation for groundbreaking research and pioneering the very latest in cancer treatments and technologies. Since 2004, the hospital’s charity, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, has helped raise over £100 million to build theatres, diagnostic centres, and drug development units. Prince William became President of The Royal Marsden in 2007, following a long royal connection with the hospital. For more information, visit


About the Focused Ultrasound Foundation

The Focused Ultrasound Foundation was created to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide by accelerating the development and adoption of focused ultrasound therapies. The Foundation works to clear the path to global adoption by coordinating and funding research and educational activities, creating partnerships and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, and building awareness of the technology among patients and professionals. The Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that focused ultrasound finds its place as a mainstream therapy for a range of neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and stroke as well as uterine fibroids, cancer and other life-threatening conditions within years, not decades. Since its establishment in 2006, the Foundation has become the largest non-governmental source of funding for focused ultrasound research. More information about the Charlottesville, Virginia based Foundation can be found at


About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2012 sales of EUR 24.8 billion and employs approximately 115,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at


More information about Philips’ activities in MR-therapy and the Sonalleve MR-HIFU system can be found at: