Hyperthermia Blog

What's New, What's News, What's Happening

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Robots Invade ASTRO 2016

paul robot 4paul robot 2

This year our CTO, Paul Turner, arrived to the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology exhibition via a shipping crate.  Our ability to communicate the highly important contribution that Pyrexar hyperthermia systems provide to cancer treatment takes a team.  So how do you bring your entire team to Boston in a fiscally responsible way?  You do it virtually, with a virtual presence robot. Our entire staff at our Salt Lake City headquarters was available to answer attendee questions simply by taking controls remotely of our onsite robot.  "We use this technology in our office everyday" says Mark Falkowski, CEO of Pyrexar, "having control of your virtual presence in the office is different from a Skype meeting, it gives you the autonomy to go just about anywhere".

paul robot 3paul robot 1

Not only was Paul available for meetings and to answer questions, he often posed for photographs during the show.

ASTRO, Hyperthermia and RVUs

Our first day at ASTRO 2016 (American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology) was a very successful one.  We had the opportunity to present our technology and to field questions from attendees of the conference.  One theme that continued throughout the day was hyperthermia reimbursement. What we learned; patient outcomes were still very important to physicians, but its all about the RVUs.

astro skybridge

Doctors’ time and energy are not always measured in lives saved, and patient wellness. Now they need to devote part of their busy days on managing RVUs. Relative Value Units are a measure of value used in the United States Medicare reimbursement formula for physician services.  RVUs are part of the system Medicare uses to decide how much it will reimburse physicians for each of the 9,000-plus services and procedures covered under its Physician Fee Schedule, and which are assigned current procedural terminology (CPT) code numbers. A well patient visit, for example, would be assigned a lower RVU than an invasive surgical procedure.

astro crowds

Hyperthermia is a non-invasive treatment that increases the patients chances of beating cancer. How does Hyperthermia play in the RVU system? What we learned is that hospitals and cancer centers need to be competitive to attract new patients. Although it is been clinically proven that hyperthermia treatment improves cancer outcomes, it is not in every hospital and cancer center.  And limited resource creates higher demand. Centers need to attract patients outside of the facilities geographic radius in order to stay in business.

“Speaking with our Pyrexar installed base in the US, we are finding patients are requesting hyperthermia and traveling outside their local cancer centers to receive treatment” says Mark Kidd, VP Sales at Pyrexar. “Bringing in patients by offering the latest in cancer technology means more revenue for the center..

ASTRO 2016 Setup Day

ASTRO beforeSaturday was set-up day for Pyrexar at the ASTRO 2016. The exhibition, held at the Boston Convention Center, is expected to draw 10,000 radiation oncologist, physicist and therapists from around the globe. This year we had a nice in-line space across the isle from one of our customers, 21st Century Oncology.  Their Fort Meyers, FL location uses a BSD-500 Superficial/Interstitial Hyperthermia System to treat a variety of cancers including recurrent chest wall tumors and melanoma.

astro cratesastro open crates

Crates arrived on time and the booth will be ready to go for Sunday’s exhibition opening. Watch for tomorrow's blog to see the booth.

As American as Baseballs and "Apple" Pie

On September 5th, the United States observed Labor Day.  This national holiday honors the creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

Even though iconic brands like Apple, Levi and Rawlings (the official baseball of the MLB is made in Costa Rica) are no longer manufactured in the U.S.A, the U.S. is still a manufacturing powerhouse. Especially when it comes to providing the world with advanced medical devices. According to the International Monetary fund, the U.S. exports a whopping $85 billion in medical devices. Although some brands have moved their manufacturing overseas, “Made In America” is still very sought after when it comes to medicine.

dalian sfogroup photo includes members from Dalian Orientech, Dalian Municipal Central Hospital and Pyrexar Medical.

That is why it was not surprising that when representatives from Dalian Municipal Central Hospital in China were ready to invest in new medical technologies, they came to the U.S. to do some shopping.  China is the second largest medical device market in the world. In addition to having the world’s largest population, the Chinese government has invested heavily in healthcare infrastructure with basic healthcare for all citizens. Although it possesses its own medical device industry, it often looks to the United States for advanced technology products.

Dr. Wang, president of Dalian Municipal Central Hospital, met with Pyrexar CEO, Mark Falkowski to talk about hyperthermia as a vital treatment to fight cancer in China.  Pyrexar continues it expanse into China with the assistance of our long time distributor Dalian Orientech Co.,Ltd.

 

HT+RT Beats CT+RT in Advanced Cervical Cancer

Researchers are combining traditional cancer treatment therapies in order to increase a patients chance of surviving cancer.  Even a few percentage points in tumor response can represent a significant benefit in saving of a life. Dr. Niloy Datta. from Kantonsspital Aarau AG,Switzerland, presented his recently published meta-analysis paper at a conference held at the Scientific-Research Institute of Oncology, St. Petersburg, Russia.

In the analysis Dr. Datta compared results for treating advanced cancer of the cervix using combination therapies.  When comparing Chemotherapy with Radiotherapy (CTRT) versus radiation alone, the odds benefit of complete tumor response was 1.43.  When comparing Hyperthermia with Radiotherapy (HTRT) versus radiation alone, the odds of complete tumor response to 2.68.

Hyperthermia plus Radiation therapy provided superior outcomes without the increase in acute toxicity found with Chemotherapy.

Go to minute 25:00 on the presentation to see the overall Odds and risk ratios presented.

The paper was published August 12th, 2016 in the International Journal of Hyperthermia, Hyperthermia and radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy in locally advanced cervical cancer: a systematic review with conventional and network meta-analyses. Niloy R. Datta, Susanne Rogers, Dirk Klingbiel, Silvia Gómez, Emsad Puric & Stephan Bodis

Visit Pyrexar at RSNA 2016 Chicago, Booth 3276

We would like you to join us for the RSNA 102nd Scientific Assembly & Annual Meeting in Chicago.  RSNA (Radiological Society of North America) is the premier radiological show in the world, with more than 435 educational courses, 1,728 scientific paper presentations, and 659 exhibitors.

RSNA 2016 convenes radiology professionals from around the globe to gather knowledge through educational courses, explore the latest innovations presented by technical exhibitors, discover groundbreaking research from scientific paper presentations, and participate in networking opportunities.

The exhibits run Sunday thru Thursday, November 27th - December 1st. From the main entrance of the South Hall A, find your way to the back of the hall, next to the BISTRO food court.  Look for booth 3276.  Click the map for the full listing.

RSNA 2016, McCormick Place, Chicago Convention Center, Nov. 27th - Dec. 1st

RSNA 2016 floor map

 

If you would like to reserve some time in advance with one of our experts, submit the link form and we will confirm your appointment time. We look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

 

Pyrexar Super User Receives Award for Hyperthermia Research

DR. Zeljko VujaskovicZeljko Vujaskovic , MD, PhD, a hyperthermia proponent and Pyrexar Hyperthermia systems “super user”, was presented with the J. Eugene Robinson Award. The award is presented annually to those how have made outstanding contributions to hyperthermic oncology. Dr. Vujaskovic, a professor of radiation oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the director of the Division of Translational Radiation Sciences at the University, is the twenty seventh recipient of this honor.

There has been a resurgence in focus int the field of Thermal Oncology in the past year.  Many researchers are looking at hyperthermia as an effective immune system activator. Not only boosting the effect dose of radiation and increasing the effectiveness of drug delivery, but as a way to keep cancer from returning to those patients who have already battled the disease.

Dr. Vujaskovic was recently a featured speaker at this years Pyrexar Day. His complete presentation is available for review below.

Where is the Evidence that Hyperthermia Works?

If you want irrefutable proof that hyperthermia works, visit the US National Library of Medicine's website PubMed.gov, a division of the National Institute of Health (NIH).  PubMed is a repository of over 26 million citations for biomedical literature.  Using the search bar, type in “hyperthermia cancer treatment” and you will find over 25,000 results.

Too many results than most of us would find useful, so we narrowed down the list.  The link below contains completed randomized trials using hyperthermia as an adjunct to radiation therapy and chemotherapy over the last 30 years.  The studies reveal a higher tumor response when hyperthermia is added over chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy alone.  Several of the studies use Pyrexar Medical equipment or lab built equipment using the same or similar radio frequency energy delivery system.

abstract table

So the next time someone challenges you with “where is the evidence that hyperthermia works?”, just send them to evidence.pyrexar.com and let them read it for themselves.

Last Week at ASCO 2016

Last week we exhibited at the ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncologist) Annual meeting held in Chicago.  With an estimated crowd of thirty three thousand, the primary message seemed to be dominated by immunotherapy.  Everyone is looking for that trigger that will activate the immune system so the body will kill its own cancer.

So why was Pyrexar Medical there? Traditionally as an adjunct to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Hyperthermia has been very effective in shrinking tumors, killing cancer cells, and improving drug delivery.

There is preclinical evidence that heating a cancer tumor initiates a similar immuno-activation response potentially serving as an adjunct to the immunotherapy drugs in development.  The diagram below demonstrates the immunomodulation induced by hyperthermia.

immunotherapy cell cycle rework final

Preclinical evidence suggests that heating the cancer cells causes cell stress and the release of HSP (heat shock proteins).  One of the roles of HSP it to assist the delivery and integration of Antigens, molecules which induce immune response, to the lymphatic system.  With the information provided by the cancer specific Antigen, the Lymphatic system then produces cancer specific Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes ( aka T-Cells) with customized receptors that are capable of identifying, targeting and killing the cancer.  Once the T-cells are programmed, heating has an additional benefit of increasing blood flow, speeding up the delivery of the T-cells to the cancer site.

Immunomodulation would explain the long term survival rates as reported in a Phase III Sarcoma study “Neo-adjuvant chemotherapy alone or with regional hyperthermia for localised high-risk soft-tissue sarcoma: a randomised phase 3 multicenter study” by well-known physician Dr. Rolf Issels.  In this dual armed study, half of the Sarcoma patients received chemotherapy (CT) and the other half received chemotherapy + hyperthermia (CT+HT). Sarcoma patients receiving CT+HT not only had significantly increased tumor response, but remained cancer free more than two times longer than those who received chemotherapy alone.  

Heating boosts radiotherapy; heating boosts chemotherapy; it stands to reason, with all we know, that heating will boost Immunotherapy. Certainly a significant benefit for immunotherapy drug makers. Plus, this additional healing boost comes with very little to no ill effects or discomfort.  Watch this short patient treatment testimonial for pancreatic cancer courtesy of ABC News Good4Utah.com

ABC News Report on Hyperthermia - Part 4

In the fourth installment of the 4-part ABC story, we hear from doctors around the world who use hyperthermia as a standard cancer treatment. We ask them why they think the US medical community is behind in this life saving technology.  If you missed part three, you can view it here.

The ABC news team included reporter Nadia Crow, videographer/editor John Eulberg and VP/GM of Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Richard Doutrè Jones.  This video is their third installment "Hyperthermia used Outside the US". Follow the story link for a complete transcript.  Video included in this post, courtesy of Good4Utah.com

Part 1Part 2Part 3 • Part 4 • Part 5

ABC News Report on Hyperthermia - Part 3

In the third installment of the 4-part ABC story, we hear from doctors around the world who use hyperthermia as a standard cancer treatment. We ask them why they think the US medical community is behind in this life saving technology.  If you missed part two, you can view it here.

The ABC news team included reporter Nadia Crow, videographer/editor John Eulberg and VP/GM of Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Richard Doutrè Jones.  This video is their third installment "Hyperthermia used Outside the US". Follow the story link for a complete transcript.  Video included in this post, courtesy of Good4Utah.com

Part 1Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4Part 5

ABC News Report on Hyperthermia - Part 2

In the second installment of the 4-part ABC story, we hear from Dr. Curt Heese of Cancer Treatment Centers of America on how hyperthermia is helping a patient with stage IV pancreatic cancer stay alive and thrive, now 18 months after first hyperthermia treatment.  Plus, Pyrexar introduces plans on the next generation image guided hyperthermia system.  Using MRI technology to ensure proper heating temperatures of cancer tumors.  If you missed part one, you can view it here.

The ABC news team included reporter Nadia Crow, videographer/editor John Eulberg and VP/GM of Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Richard Doutrè Jones.  This video is their second installment "How Hyperthermia Works". Follow the story link for a complete transcript.  Video included in this post, courtesy of Good4Utah.com.

Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3Part 4Part 5

ABC News Report on Hyperthermia - Part 1

Four weeks ago, the ABC News department at Salt Lake City's Good4Utah Channel 4 followed us to a Hyperthermia Oncology Conference in New Orleans. The news crew was looking to answer one question, "Why was hyperthermia cancer treatment therapy was so underutilized in the state?" Especially in a state where hyperthermia equipment has been manufacturered for the last 34 years.  Instead of flying around the world, they decided to visit the one place where experts in the field would be gathering, the ICHO.

The ICHO (International Conference for Hyperthermia Oncology) is a quadrennial meeting of the ASHO (Asian Society of Hyperthermic Oncology) the ESHO (European Society of Hyperthermic Oncology) and the STM (Society of Thermal Medicine - USA).  It is a place where experts in the field gather to share studies and challenge one another.  United by one goal, defeat cancer.

The ABC news team included reporter Nadia Crow, videographer/editor John Eulberg and VP/GM of Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Richard Doutrè Jones.  This video is their first installment "History of Hyperthermia". Follow the story link for a complete transcript.  Video included in this post, courtesy of Good4Utah.com.

Part 1 • Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

ABC News Report on Hyperthermia - Promo

Four weeks ago, the ABC News department at Salt Lake City's Good4Utah Channel 4 followed us to a Hyperthermia Oncology Conference in New Orleans. Here is the promo the station aired ahead of the story

The ABC news team included reporter Nadia Crow, videographer/editor John Eulberg and VP/GM of Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Richard Doutrè Jones.    Video included in this post, courtesy of Good4Utah.com.

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4

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The Pyrexar Blog is an Opinion Editorial written by Drew Wilkens, Vice President of Digital Content Marketing. We strive to provide factual information and rebuttal or corrections are welcome. Please send your comments to marketing@pyrexar.com