Children's National First in US to Destroy Bone Tumors With Incisionless Surgery May 27, 2015

Hifure Touch

Karun Sharma, MD, PhD, interventional radiologist at Children's National Health System, poses with 10-year-old Niyati Shah and 16-year-old Alfredo Coreas, the first two children with osteoid osteoma successfully treated in the U.S. as part of an innovative research study using noninvasive MR-HIFU. Photo credit: Brent Combs

Washington, DC – Doctors from the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System are the first in the United States to treat osteoid osteoma, a benign but painful bone tumor that commonly occurs in children and young adults, using an experimental magnetic resonance-guided high-intensity focused ultrasound (MR-HIFU) method. Two patients, 16-year-old Alfredo Coreas and 10-year-old Niyati Shah, have been treated successfully in a research study aimed at testing the safety and feasibility of this noninvasive and precise treatment option.

“Our team set out to provide a noninvasive treatment option for children with osteoid osteoma and we’re very pleased with the success of the first two treatments,” said Karun Sharma, MD, PhD, Director of Interventional Radiology at Children’s National and Principal Investigator for the osteoid osteoma trial. “Both children we treated were very active prior to the onset of their tumor, one a soccer player and the other a swimmer, but because of the pain from the tumor, they have been unable to enjoy their favorite activities, until now.”

Osteoid osteoma was previously treated with orthopaedic surgery that involved scraping the tumor from the bone or removing the affected part of the bone. The most commonly used treatment today is CT-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA). While this is a less invasive method, it still requires drilling through muscle and soft tissue into bone. RFA also exposes the patient and operator to ionizing radiation.

High-intensity focused ultrasound therapy uses focused sound wave energy to heat and destroy the targeted tumor under MRI guidance. This precise and controlled method does not require a scalpel or needle, greatly reducing the risk of complications like infections and bone fractures. It is also a faster treatment option, with expected total procedure time of an hour or less. In the U.S., MR-HIFU is used to treat uterine fibroids and painful bone metastases from several types of cancer in adults, but it has not been used in children.

This breakthrough is the latest from the Image-Guided Non-Invasive Therapeutic Energy (IGNITE) program, a collaboration of the Sheikh Zayed Institute and the departments of Radiology, Oncology, Surgery, and Anesthesiology at Children’s National. The goal of the IGNITE program is to improve the quality of life and outcomes for pediatric patients through the development and clinical introduction of novel minimally invasive and noninvasive surgery technologies and combination therapy approaches. The team is led by Peter Kim, MD, CM, PhD, Vice President of the Sheikh Zayed Institute.

“The use of MR-HIFU ablation of osteoid osteoma is a perfect example of our mission in the Sheikh Zayed Institute to make pediatric surgery more precise, less invasive and pain-free,” said Dr. Kim. “Our leading team of experts are also exploring the use of MR-HIFU as a noninvasive technique of ablating growth plates and pediatric solid tumors. We also have another clinical trial open for children and young adults with refractory soft tissue tumors, which is being performed in collaboration with Dr. Bradford Wood’s team at the National Institutes of Health, and if successful, it would be the first in the world.”

In addition to Drs. Sharma and Kim, the team for the ablation of osteoid osteoma clinical trial includes: AeRang Kim, MD, PhD, pediatric oncologist; Matthew Oetgen, MD, Division Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine; Kaleb Friend, MD, pediatric orthopedic surgeon; Pavel Yarmolenko, PhD, Haydar Celik, PhD, and Avinish Eranki, biomedical engineers; Viktoriya Beskin, MR technologist; and Janish Patel, MD, and Domiciano Santos, MD, pediatric anesthesiologists.

To learn more about the osteoid osteoma clinical trial visit

Contact: Leah Parker at 202-476-4500

About Children’s National Health System

Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National is ranked in the top 20 in every specialty evaluated by U.S. News & World Report; one of only four children’s hospitals in the nation to earn this distinction. Designated a Leapfrog Group Top Hospital and a two-time recipient of Magnet® status, this pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty outpatient centers. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is one of the nation’s top NIH-funded pediatric institutions. Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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