History of the International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU)
The International Society for Therapeutic Ultrasound (ISTU) provides a foundation for international collaboration on issues related to therapeutic ultrasound. Established in 2001, ISTU's principal mission is to foster the diffusion of knowledge concerning the scientific and clinical aspect of therapeutic ultrasound.
In 2000, a group of scientists and clinicians at Chongqing University in the PRC contacted various individuals around the world and suggested that a meeting be held in Chongqing on the topic of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). The Chongqing group, together with the company, Chongqing HAIFU Technology Co., Ltd. was interested in an international exchange of information concerning the use of this technology for the treatment of disease, particularly the non-invasive use of HIFU for the treatment of benign and malignant tumors. A meeting was subsequently held in May of 2001, organized by Zhibiao Wang and Feng Wu at Chongqing University, PRC, and by Gail ter Haar of the Institute of Cancer Research, UK. Approximately 100 scientists, engineers, and clinicians from several countries attended this meeting.
Although the discovery by Frank and William Fry in the early 1950's that high-intensity sound waves could be used to generate localized tissue damage significantly predated even the use of ultrasound as a diagnostic modality, most foreign visitors were amazed to discover the major advances that has occurred in the development of HIFU technology in the PRC. Accordingly, at the urging of a number of attendees, it was decided in Chongqing in May, 2001, that additional meetings on the topic should be organized and an International Society formed. A temporary Board was appointed and Gail ter Haar was elected the first President of ISTU. An ISTU Symposium has been held every year since 2001.