Enhanced MR-guided focused ultrasound improves treatment of uterine
17 May 2007
San Diego, USA. Recent studies show that MR-guided focused
ultrasound (MRgFUS) is a more effective treatment option for a broader
population of uterine fibroid sufferers.
In a poster presented at the American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists (ACOG) annual meeting in San Diego, Phyllis Gee, M.D. of the
North Texas Uterine Fibroid Institute in Plano, Texas, showed that women
undergoing MRgFUS experience rapid and sustained relief from their condition
and have a reduced need for alternative, invasive treatments in the future.
GE and InSightec, a company that develops non-invasive therapy systems,
developed the world’s first magnetic resonance (MR) image guided focused
ultrasound system. InSightec’s ExAblate 2000 system, approved by the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2004, works exclusively in
combination with GE’s Signa MR system to non-invasively treat symptomatic
"These findings further underscore the utility of MRgFUS
as a long-lasting, non-invasive option for the millions of women suffering
from uterine fibroids,” said Dr. Gee. “With these expanded treatment
guidelines, we are able to successfully treat more of the tumour and
virtually eliminate the need for future hysterectomies.”
presented at ACOG this week by David Lee, Ph.D., Senior Director, Health
Economics and Outcomes Research, GE Healthcare, showed that clinically
significant uterine fibroids are common among women in their prime working
years and are associated with several debilitating co-morbid conditions.
The research also showed that uterine fibroid treatments impose
substantial direct and indirect costs on employers, and that nearly one in
three women treated surgically for uterine fibroids experiences an adverse
“These new data suggest that uterine fibroids impose a substantial
clinical burden on women, and a tremendous economic burden on employers.
MRgFUS holds the promise of lessening this burden by offering women a
non-invasive treatment option for this debilitating condition,” said Dr.
About uterine fibroids
According to the US National
Institutes for Health (NIH), uterine fibroids are the most common,
non-cancerous tumours in women of childbearing age and the second most
common reason reproductive women undergo surgery. Uterine fibroids, the
cause of more than 200,000 hysterectomies every year, have no known cause
and only a few treatment options, also according to NIH.
According to a
report by RAND Corporation, an international non-profit research
organization, direct costs associated with treating uterine fibroids are
more than $1 billion annually.
Traditionally, treatment options for uterine fibroids have included invasive
and minimally invasive procedures such as hysterectomy, myomectomy or
uterine artery embolization (UAE). Hormonal therapy, the only non-invasive
treatment available, offers only temporary relief of symptoms, and fibroids
frequently grow back once therapy is terminated.
Further information on The American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists (ACOG) annual meeting: