Lawrence A. Crum - Acoustical Society of America

Therapeutic Ultrasound: A Revolution in Medicine Lawrence A. Crum, University of Washington, Seattle, WA Probably the most important aspect of our lives is our health. When we are young, we take for granted that we will live long and productive lives and never expect to face crippling diseases or critical traumas. And then when something terrible happens—we are diagnosed with cancer or we are critically injured in an accident, we expect doctors to immediately play god and heal us without fail. Yet, the tools of many physicians are limited to the scalpel and the retractor—tools that were available to the ancient Egyptians and Romans. Can ultrasound technology be used to improve the quality and promise of our health care system? Of course it can, and this lecture will illustrate some of the amazing ways in which diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound is generating a veritable revolution in medicine. Some examples: Using diagnostic ultrasound, one can image a tumor, benign or malignant, and then with the same device, ultrasound can be applied with much higher intensity to the tumor, heating it to the protein denaturation temperature and essentially destroying it in situ—in a totally non‐invasive procedure. No scalpel or retractor is needed here. Indeed, patients with diseases of the brain are being treated with high intensity focused ultrasound—propagated through the skull itself—with remarkable and immediate success. Although many of these ultrasound technologies are being used now to treat patients in the clinic, many more have promise to bring even more powerful tools to equip the physician’s armamentarium. Perhaps some of you will make significant contributions to this promising field of science. Lawrence A. Crum is Principal Physicist in the Applied Physics Laboratory, Research Professor of Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering, and Founder and former Director of the Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound, all at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has held previous positions at Harvard University, the U. S. Naval Academy, and the University of Mississippi, where he was F. A. P. Barnard Distinguished Professor of Physics and Director of the National Center for Physical Acoustics. He has published over 200 articles in professional journals, been awarded 11 patents, holds an honorary doctorate from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, and was recently awarded the Gold Medal of the Acoustical Society of America, its highest honor. He is Past President of the Acoustical Society of America, the Board of the International Commission for Acoustics, and the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound. He is co‐founder of 3 medical device companies. His interests lie in the general area of physical and biomedical acoustics.