MedCityNews – Pediatric Device Innovators Forum Explores State of Focused Ultrasound


If you are interested in pediatric medical device innovation or alternative solutions to surgery such as focused ultrasound, these two topics will merge at the Pediatric Device Innovators Forum, July 22, from 2 – 3:30 p.m. This free livestream event, hosted by the National Capital Consortium for Pediatric Device Innovation (NCC-PDI), features clinical, regulatory and reimbursement experts discussing the topic “Focused Ultrasound for Pediatric Indications.”

NCC-PDI is a collaboration between Children’s National Hospital and University of Maryland Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices. NCC-PDI is one of five consortia funded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support pediatric device innovators in bringing more medical devices to market for children. Pediatric medical device development continues to lag significantly behind that of adult devices.

Focused ultrasound is a noninvasive therapeutic technology that offers an alternative to surgery, radiation therapy, drug delivery and cancer immunotherapy. The technology has the potential to increase the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for pediatric patients.

Radiologists at Children’s National use MR-HIFU to focus an ultrasound beam into lesions, usually tumors of the bone and soft tissues, to heat and destroy the harmful tissue in that region, eliminating the need for incisions. In 2015, Children’s National doctors became the first in the U.S. to use MR-HIFU to treat pediatric osteoid osteoma (OO), a painful, but benign, bone tumor that commonly occurs in children and young adults. Led by Karun Sharma, M.D., director of Interventional Radiology, the trial demonstrated early success in establishing the safety and feasibility of noninvasive MR-HIFU in children as an alternative to current, more invasive approaches to treat these tumors. The Children’s National team conducted another clinical trial, led by pediatric oncologist AeRang Kim, M.D.,Ph.D., to treat relapsed soft tissue tumors such as sarcomas.

In September 2020, the Focused Ultrasound Foundation designated Children’s National Hospital as the first global pediatric Center of Excellence for using this technology to help patients with specific types of childhood tumors.

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