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New John Grisham Book Promotes Focused Ultrasound as Medical Treatment

Tuesday, January 26, 2016  
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Bestselling author John Grisham’s new book, The Tumor, is a fictional account of how a real medical technology could impact the future of medicine. The short book is about focused ultrasound, a revolutionary non-invasive therapy with the potential to transform the treatment of a variety of serious medical disorders.

“It’s the most important book I’ve ever written,” says Grisham. “Everyone who is concerned about their health and loved ones should read The Tumor to learn about a breakthrough medical technology. I have found no other cause, issue, or charity that can potentially save so many lives.”

The Tumor follows the experience of the fictional patient Paul, an otherwise healthy 35-year-old father who is diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Despite receiving current state-of-the-art treatment of invasive brain surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, he passes away nine months after his diagnosis.

Grisham then takes readers to an alternate future, where Paul is diagnosed with the same brain tumor at 35 years old in the year 2025. In this future, doctors utilize focused beams of ultrasound energy to destroy Paul’s tumor without cutting into his skull. They then refocus the ultrasound to the surrounding brain to activate nanoparticles that deliver high concentrations of chemotherapy to the brain while minimizing systemic side effects. Paul is able to go back to his busy life after these procedures. The tumor returns a couple of times, and he is retreated with the same approach. While the tumor will eventually take Paul’s life, focused ultrasound therapy could transform a fatal condition into one that is chronic, but manageable.

“John has been a board member and steadfast supporter of our Foundation for years. We are fortunate to have such a noteworthy advocate helping to spread the word about this game-changing therapy,” said Neal F. Kassell, MD, Chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. “He wants to help ensure that focused ultrasound is part of our future. Though in its infancy, there is great potential for this technology to improve quality of life and decrease cost of care. But progress is too slow, and we want to help make it available sooner to help as many people as possible.”

Grisham wrote The Tumor to raise awareness and funds to help the Focused Ultrasound Foundation to accelerate the development and adoption of the technology to improve the lives of millions of people with serious medical disorders. While the book is free, he encourages the public to support the Foundation’s programs for research, education and advocacy.

John Grisham joined Dr. Kassell onstage at TEDxCharlottesville to explain why he became involved in focused ultrasound and his role as a storyteller in helping to spread the word with his short book. The story transformed from fiction to reality when a Parkinson’s patient who had been disabled with uncontrollable shaking ran on stage and shared how her participation in a focused ultrasound clinical trial transformed her life.

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