A family member recently directed my attention to a short story called “The Tumor” published by John Grisham … yes … I am referring to the American best-selling author John Grisham, who is well known for writing legal thrillers. “The Tumor” can be downloaded free by visiting the Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s website here.
Please take a few moments to download the book to learn more about Focused Ultrasound and the research being done to evaluate how effective this new technology may be in treating not only cancer related diagnoses but up to seventy (70) other burdensome conditions that impact patients worldwide … like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, uterine fibroids, tremors, cardiovascular, neurological and endocrine disorders … just to name a few.
If proven effective, Focused Ultrasound could provide invaluable non-invasive treatment options for patients; that could not only improve patient outcomes, but may also reduce the cost of care delivered in comparison to the expensive, invasive alternatives being used to treat these same conditions today.
In the book, it shares a story of a young thirty-five year old man who was diagnosed with a glioblastoma, which is a type of brain tumor. The available treatment options at the time of his diagnosis included a three-hour brain surgery requiring a 3-day post-op hospital stay, additional treatment post surgery and a prognosis of about twelve months.
The story details out the various steps the surgeon had to go through to complete the surgical procedure … and the treatment plan that would be required after the surgery including radiation and chemotherapy, to manage this highly aggressive form of cancer. Eventually the tumor recurred and the patient underwent a second surgery which was the only hope he had left … sadly, only nine short months after his initial surgery he passed away. The estimated cost of his two surgical procedures, radiation and chemotherapy treatments was around $300,000.
The story goes on to explain, had Focused Ultrasound been available at the time the patient was diagnosed, it would have not only lessened the complications and side effects of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, but it would have offered a very non-invasive form of treatment and provided a quality of life that far surpassed what he had experienced. Additionally, the cost of the treatment would have been substantially less (an estimated $225,000 less) and it would have markedly prolonged his life.
I encourage you to take an hour out of your day to read “The Tumor”. It is proof we are making progress with clinical research and advances in technology. Although Focused Ultrasound is not yet approved by the FDA, it is showing great promise in clinical trials with its effectiveness in treating various health care conditions where there has been little hope offered before.
If you would like to stay up-to-date on progress the Focused Ultrasound Foundation is making with this new technology, sign up to receive their newsletter at the website link above. The latest issue of the newsletter provided information about a new study at the University of Virginia, evaluating the effectiveness of Focused Ultrasound and Immunotherapy (Keytruda) in treating Stage 4 breast cancer patients. The possibilities are endless and with more clinical research this treatment advancement could be made available to patients and hopefully alleviate if not eliminate various health care concerns around the world.