Pyrexar is working very hard to bring innovation to our products. But nothing is more important than sharing the message of hope that hyperthermia treatment can bring to cancer patients. Although there is a long, successful history of this therapy, few Americans know about it. We want to know why?
Although hyperthermia system sales have been accelerating in the last two years in Asia, Europeans have had a long history of using this technology. In part 4, we meet Professor Dr. Peter Wust of Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, who has been treating patients with hyperthermia for over three decades. The team at Charité is the world's leading experts in this type of cancer treatment. You can learn more about the treatment options at the Charité in their patient brochure.
In Part 3 of the hyperthermia news report, produced by Salt Lake City's ABC station Good4Utah, we meet Randy. Randy is an excellent example of what hyperthermia could do for cancer patients around the world. Randy was diagnosed with rectal cancer that had metastasized to his colon and lungs. The tumor was too large to be surgically removed. As in most cases with cancers this advanced, the doctors tried to make the patient comfortable with pain killers and recommended hospice care. I cannot imagine what that must feel like to hear that your life is at its end.
But Randy had an advocate in his sister and, through an internet search, found Dr. Hayes of Gamma West Cancer Services. Dr. Hayes had a plan, treat the primary tumor with brachytherapy and hyperthermia to providing the best outcome. Not only did the treatment shrink the primary tumor and kill cancer, but also the other tumors continue to shrink or have disappeared entirely. Randy has a new lease on life.
I want to repeat this point. The primary tumor was treated with brachytherapy radiation and interstitial hyperthermia. The metastatic sites of the colon and lung received no treatment, no radiation, and no chemotherapy. How did the other cancers disappear? Immune Modulation. Hyperthermia restarted the immune systems' ability to recognize cancer. The body's immune system attacked any stray cancer cells that may find a new stronghold in the body.
When I have asked other doctors why hyperthermia is not used in all cancer treatment, the response I get is radiation and chemotherapy work "pretty well." Our hope is hyperthermia will play more of a role in first-line treatment as a non-pharmaceutical radiosensitizer (with little to no toxicity).
Part 2 of the ABC News series visits two patients with life-threatening recurrent cancers. In this installment, we meet Jack, an avid race car driver whose prostate cancer returned after treatment two years ago. Jack understands the devastating effects of cancer; he lost four siblings to the disease. Jack approached his cancer treatment as he approached racing; he planned to win. Jack is a winner, thanks to his willingness to seek out the best treatment solution, even though far away from home.
Meet Nicole, faced with the recurrence of an aggressive head/neck cancer. One solution was to remove her tongue to save her life. Luckily she found Dr. Hayes, who offered a different answer. Using brachytherapy and hyperthermia, Nicole kept her tongue and her ability to speak and swallow normally. Both patients are now one-year cancer-free.
The ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah, has produced a five-part series on the resurgence of hyperthermia in the treatment of cancer. Part 1 of 5 aired this evening and featured the Pyrexar BSD-500 Interstitial Hyperthermia System used as an adjunct to brachytherapy in the treatment of advanced, recurrent prostate cancer. Reporter Surae Chinn - @suraechinn asks Dr. Hayes of Gamma West Cancer Services to explain how he and his team use hyperthermia to improve cancer outcomes. See the video and full transcript at www.Good4Utah.com
As you may know, recurrent cancer is a challenge as the indication often proves to be radio-resistant. With this in mind, Dr. Hayes has accepted patients that many have given up on. It is his experience that adding hyperthermia at therapeutic temperatures for one hour will increase oxygenation, increase blood flow and perfusion, inhibit DNA repair and stimulate the body's immune response, making his treatment more effective than other oncologists in the area. Gamma West can provide interstitial radiotherapy (brachytherapy) followed quickly by interstitial hyperthermia, in as few as two treatments in a single day.
It is essential to share these stories as hyperthermia has proven to change lives and extend life.
We just returned from Taiwan after attending the TASTRO - Taiwan Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology annual conference. The event was held at the Tiangong Hall in the Kaohsiung Junhong Hotel in Kaohsiung City. Presenters at the two-day conference covered a range of topics, including the Best of ASTRO topics (Head and Neck Cancer, Abdomen/Pelvis, Chest). We also enjoyed the presentation on the use of brachytherapy in early-stage breast cancer. We believe that interstitial hyperthermia, and the immune response trigger of heat can play an essential role in this treatment protocol. But the main focus of the event centered around proton therapy.
Dr. Zeljko Vujaskovic presented "Thermal Therapy in Cancer Treatment" as the keynote speaker of the event.
Univ. of Maryland Featured Speaker
Taiwan Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology Annual Conference
Ames Medical Represents Pyrexar
Our sales agent for Taiwan, Ames Medical, put together an excellent booth presentation for the Pyrexar product line
The highlight of the conference was a keynote presentation by Dr. Zeljko Vujaskovic from the University of Maryland Proton Center. Dr. Vujaskovic provided an overview of the development of Thermal Therapy, with an emphasis on its reemerging role in cancer treatment. Dr. Vujaskovic and his team have developed the world's first center to combine proton therapy and thermal therapy treatment in a single facility. The team has recently started treating patients in the new thermal suite, and early results are positive. The University of Maryland has used the BSD-500 for many years, and the recent addition of a BSD-2000 last spring will allow them to treat cases using hyperthermia in the superficial, interstitial, and profound regional modes.
A special thanks to our Taiwan sales organization AMES Medical. They did a tremendous job hosting our team and creating a comprehensive marketing and sales presentation in the conference booth.
Plus: AIRO - Italian Association of Radiotherapy Oncology
We were also represented this month at the AIRO by our distributor Tema Sinergia. The 28th Annual AIRO was held Nov. 2-4 at the Rimini Conference Center, Rimini, Italy. The event is co-located with the 31st National Congress AIRB and the 10th National AIRO Youth Congress.
Thank you to the Tema Sinergia team for their excellent work.
We just returned from the 60th Annual ASTRO in San Antonio, Texas, and wanted to share our experience. First, it was an excellent show for Pyrexar. We had immediate traffic in the booth. For the first time, we did not have to explain the benefits of hyperthermia as a drug-free radiosensitizer or hyperthermia’s role as an immune modulator. Second, the recent announcement from the University of Maryland Proton Center of its new BSD-2000 hyperthermia suite and the follow-up article in DotMED.com created an immediate draw to the booth.
The theme of this year's booth centered squarely on the advances of image-guided thermal therapy and the BSD-2000 3D/MR, shown in the featured booth graphic, with hands-on access to the Sigma Eye/MR Applicator and the newly redesigned Sigma 30 for the BSD-2000 and BSD-2000 3D/MR. The Sigma 30 is a 30cm applicator designed for limbs (soft tissue sarcoma) and pediatric applications.
The crowds and the physical space was about 20% smaller this year. The quality of the show still maintained its excellence as an essential platform for scientific review and new product introductions. Many of the large radiation equipment manufacturers focused more on software than hardware.
Stopping by the booth were hyperthermia luminaries, Dr. Zeljko Vujaskovic from the University of Maryland, Dr. Mark Hurwitz from Thomas Jefferson Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, and Dr. Niloy Datta, Kantonsspital Aarau, Switzerland. Dr. Datta presented a poster titled "Therapeutic Options for Locally Advanced Cervix Cancer: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis" at the new ASTRO Digital Poster Pavilion.
We would also like to thank our partners Sennewald Medizintechnik (Germany/Europe/Russia), for their participation in the booth. As well as Orientech (China), Tema Sinergie (Italy), Hanbeam Technology (South Korea), and our newest partners Sukosol (Thailand) and HuaLong BioMed (Taiwan), for bringing in a constant flow of prospects from around the globe.
The next stop is the 2018 Taiwan Radiation Oncology Annual Symposium sponsored by TASTRO - Taiwan Society for Therapeutic Radiation Oncology, held in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan Nov. 10 - 11. Our Taiwan partner Ames Medical will have a booth, and Dr. Zeljko Vujaskovic is a featured speaker presenting his work in hyperthermia and its role in proton therapy.
In an announcement this week, the University of Maryland's Proton Center has established the world's first combined Hyperthermia/Proton Beam therapy center. The therapy suite features the BSD-2000 Deep Regional Hyperthermia system as a complement to the center's 122,000 sq. ft., five-bay, $270M, Varian ProBeam Proton system.
Proton therapy is a precise form of radiation for the treatment of solid, localized tumors. Unlike X-ray (photon) technology, protons deliver a maximum radiation dose that stops at the tumor site. This enables our physicians to target the cancer cells with millimeter precision while sparing normal, healthy surrounding tissue in the rest of your body.
Hyperthermia, as an adjunct therapy, is expected to provide the same functionality as it would for traditional radiotherapy by increasing tumor oxygenation, boosting effective dose by 150%, preventing DNA repair to damaged cancer cells and by awakening the bodies immune system to the identify and destroy cancer. The big difference is the belief that Hyperthermia + Proton = Carbon Ion as theorized in a paper Could hyperthermia with proton therapy mimic carbon ion therapy? by Dr. Niloy Datta.
This is an exciting advancement for hyperthermia to the forefront of cancer treatment.
An independent quality assurance study of the five clinical BSD-2000-3D/MR systems has been published in the International Journal of Hyperthermia by H. Mulder et al. the study intended to validate the accuracy and consistency of the deep heating focus and electronic steering of this system. The study test results concluded, on these five separate systems, that “the Pyrexar Medical BSD2000-3D MR compatible applicator provides robust and reproducible heating.“ The study found that the heating characteristics were reproducible within a 95% confidence interval of 0.4˚C. Based on these evaluations, the applicator was approved for clinical use. This study further made it clear that these BSD-2000 systems provide deep selective heating focus to the center of the body equivalent phantom along with the electronic steering precision.
• Applicator provides robust, reproducible heating • 95% confidence interval of 0.4˚C • Selective heating focus with electronic steering precision • 5 MR-based Hyperthermia Systems already Installed
Why is this important?
1) It shows that our systems design and manufacturing is solid, even in the most sophisticated products; 2) When designing a multi-hospital, multi-country clinical study, there is hardware reliance; and 3) The research community continues to invest its time in system validation, necessary to maintain standards that industry should follow.
About the BSD-2000 3D/MR
Pyrexar Medical manufactures the most advanced hyperthermia treatment systems in the world. The model BSD-2000-3D/MR can focus radiated RF power to deep sites in the body with 3D electronic steering. Further unique advancement of this configuration is that it has been integrated with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which has been adapted to display non-invasive temperature change images during the elevated temperature treatments. This unique system provides image-guided thermal therapy of deep tumors within the patient’s body.
This excellent quality assurance study is vital to our goal of assuring high quality hyperthermia cancer treatments and to allow for results of clinical studies, at various centers around the world, to be combined in future clinical research.
We have made some updates to the Pyrexar Medical website, both in style and performance. Our goal is to promote hyperthermia as a premier adjunct cancer treatment and to make valuable clinical data and product information readily available.
New features include:
A new way to explore our product features
An updated interactive map to find the closest available treatment centers
Clinical data on hyperthermia with links to abstracts
Clinical studies that used Pyrexar products
We hope you will take a moment and explore the website. Your feedback is essential and appreciated.
Other program notes:
We will be exhibiting at this year's ASTRO in San Antonio, October 21-23. If you are planning to attend, please stop by booth #1942 and see some of our new products for 2019 on display.
Hyperthermia is reemerging on to the cancer treatment stage. There is growing acceptance of hyperthermia's role as a radiosensitizer, its effectiveness when used with chemotherapy, and maybe its most important role, in immunomodulation.
Pyrexar Medical receives requests to introduce our hyperthermia systems into new countries every month. In 2015, we were selling in 9 countries; three years later, the count has grown to well over 36 countries. But the road is long from introduction to sale and is often drawn-out with regulatory filings, physician education, toward eventual acceptance. That is why we are so thankful for physicians like Dr. Gi-Ming Lai, Director of the Wan Fang Cancer Center, and his team at the Taipei Municipal Wan Fang Hospital, part of the Taipei Medical University in Taiwan.
The clinical data for hyperthermia, and specifically the BSD-2000 Deep Regional Hyperthermia system is very impressive. But potential customers often want to see a device in a treatment environment to understand workflow and treatment planning. So when a new distributor from the region requested to visit a reference site, we reached out to our partner network, and Linden Bioscience of Taiwan answered the call.
"Wan Fang is a well-respected center in Taiwan, and Dr. Lai's experience with hyperthermia is unparalleled in the region," says Tainang Huang, president of Linden Bioscience. "They have a well-outfitted radiation oncology department and a strong team in medical oncology under Dr. Lai's direction." Wan Fang was the first JCI accredited hospital in Taiwan. The 730-bed facility has more than 350 full-time physicians and over 2000 additional staff members because it is affiliated with Taipei Medical University, many doctors in training from the university complete internships at Wan Fang.
We believe with solid partnerships and a willingness to share knowledge, hyperthermia will continue to grow and serve cancer patients around the globe.
ASTRO's 60th Annual Meeting is the premier radiation oncology scientific event in the world and draws more than 11,000 attendees each year. This year's exhibits will be held October 21-23th at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio, Texas (USA). Look for us in booth #1942.
We look forward to seeing you at the show. For more information, visit the ASTRO website.
Pyrexar has signed with Kamol Sukosol Electric Company (KEC) to distribute Pyrexar's line of hyperthermia systems in Thailand. For over twenty years, KEC has been supplying hospitals and clinics around the country with machinery vital in the fight against cancer. Their talented and well-trained sales and service group have started the process of introducing radiative phased array hyperthermia to their customers. Please join us in welcoming KEC to the Pyrexar family. We are fortunate to have such an excellent organization on our team.
We were in Thailand in June to meet with Daranee Clapp, Executive VP of KEC, and her team to pitch the Pyrexar hyperthermia solution to several Bangkok area hospitals. Below are a few photos of our visit.
Kamol Sukosol Electric Company Background
KEC traces its roots back to 1939 when its president, Mr. Kamol Sukosol, started the trading business with a shipment of twelve G.E. radio sets from the United States. Before too long, the company grew to have 22 showrooms in Bangkok and its surrounding provinces. Less than a decade later, the company becomes G.E’s sole distributor in Thailand. With each passing year, new product lines were added, and KEC’s scope of activities spread from household appliances to electrical and engineering equipment, air conditioning, motor vehicles, manufacturing, and, most importantly, healthcare. The company has a fascinating success story. You can read more here.
Pyrexar Medical was invited to participate in the Hanoi 2018 - Investment and Development Cooperation event. This year's event included twenty-four MoUs (Memoranda of Understanding) and investment certificates at a total value of 270 trillion VND (approx. USD 12 billion). During the ceremony, Pyrexar received an award from the ministry of health and signed an agreement to deliver hyperthermia systems to government hospitals this year.
Around 1,500 representatives, including leaders of the government, ministries, international organizations, and hundreds of investors and businesses, were in attendance. The conference is a chance for the Capital to meet domestic and foreign investors, representatives of embassies, and international organizations, to attract more local and foreign investments in Hanoi and the rest of the country.
A special thank you to our new distributor for Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, Thai Thinh Medical of Hanoi City, for making this opportunity happen. The result; Pyrexar successfully signed agreements for placement of two BSD-500 Superficial Hyperthermia systems, a BSD-2000 Deep Regional Hyperthermia system, and our newest BSD-2000 3D/MR Image-Guided Thermal Therapy system to Hanoi High Tech and Digestive Center at St. Paul's Hospital and VinMec International Hospital, in Hanoi.
Society of Thermal Medicine (STM) Annual conference held at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson Arizona. Average daily temperature was 100˚F
Pyrexar displayed some new applicators for the BSD-2000 3D/MR, as well as an upgrade (touch monitor / software / temperature box) for the BSD-2000 family
The Sigma 30/MR is a MR compatible applicator for treating limbs and pediatric patients. The new design fits into the MRI table tray and can shift left and right for patient comfort. Like the Sigma Eye/MR it is removable allowing for general imaging use.
Martin Wadepohl of Senewald Medizintechnik presented "MR Thermometry: New Scanners - New Challenges" at the Modeling, Monitoring, Measuring and Computation section
(L to R) James Snider, MD, Jason Molitoris, MD, PhD, Emily Kowalski, MD, Jill Remick. MD, Zeljko Vujaskovic, MD. PhD - University of Maryland's radiation oncology group was in full force at the STM. Great presentations on hyperthermia!
STM (Society of Thermal Medicine) Conference in Tucson, AZ
Over 100 presentations on thermal technologies and research
Hyperthermia = New business - Discover how hyperthermia increases the bottom line
New Pyrexar Applicators on display
Did I mention it was 103˚F in May
We just returned from a week-long STM conference in Tucson, Arizona (May 7-10, 2018). The theme of the meeting was "Temperature Matters." The thermometer reached 103˚F with a relative humidity of 5%... and "YES" it mattered!
There were over 100 presentations on thermal effect, including radiative hyperthermia, MR-guided thermal therapy, nanoparticles, HIFU, HIPEC, laser interstitial thermal therapy, immunology, cryotherapy, and radio-biology. The common thread among all hyperthermia applications is that it is a valuable therapy in the treatment of cancer. But without financial rationale and support, none of these technologies will reach the patient.
Hyperthermia = New business
We all care about results, but reimbursement is what gives you the ability to continue treating patients. That is why we wanted to highlight one presentation that stood out in our mind - "The Impact of Hyperthermia Therapy on Patient Referrals and Patterns of Care within a Radiation Oncology Department" by Dr. J. Remek from the University of Maryland Department of Radiation. In summary, actual reimbursement for a single hyperthermia treatment was less important than the additional services that a hyperthermia patient brings to the practice. Dr. Remek tallied all of the billable services rendered at the University of Maryland associated with its BSD-500 Superficial/Interstitial Hyperthermia System in the radiation oncology department (U of M is installing a BSD-2000 in their Proton Center). Of their sampling of patients who received hyperthermia, the additional radiation, imaging, and care services increased their revenue stream by 15%-19%. They reason that new patients, referred from outside the hospital's network, increase billable services that they would not have received if they did not offer hyperthermia.
The STM conference is an intimate show, with 150-200 participants. Pyrexar sponsors the show, not to find customers, but as an effort to support hyperthermia research and the STM organization. We still like to show off what we have been up to, and our small 10ft booth was packed with lots of new stuff.
Our backdrop is an image of the new BSD-2000 3D/MR installed in Grosshardern University Hospital, Munich, Germany. It represents a significant advancement in Image-Guided Thermal Therapy. [Currently available in select EU countries]
Elevated on a stand on the left is the Sigma Eye/MR applicator, (internally we call the Universal). The Universal code name represents the ability to quickly deploy our applicator onto any MR table with a form factor that will fit most, newer MRI systems. Previously, we would build a custom gantry for each MR model requiring significant engineering and time. Now hyperthermia can be provided in the active MRI, then removed quickly for traditional imaging. [Currently available in select EU countries]
On the table to the left is the brand new Sigma 30/MR applicator. This applicator is often used to treat Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the limbs. Just in time for the JAMA release of the long term STS phase III clinical study recently published in JAMA. The 30cm bore applicator has also been used in pediatric cases of germ cell tumors. [Currently available in select EU countries]
Next on the table is an innovation for existing BSD-2000 users. We have a new large-screen touch monitor and upgraded control software. The software has the same ability to monitor and control the heat zone, but the user interface has been formatted to more user-friendly.
In front of the screen is the new temperature box. Repackaged to be user-friendly and less obtrusive, the temperature box features improved probe connectors and a probe calibration well similar to the BSD-500. Instead of a water bath, the user inserts the end of the probe into the well and initiates calibration. Quick and easy.
Last but not least... Sorry, we can not talk about the previous item. We are currently in the development of a new device. If you attend the ESHO show this week, you may get a closer look.