It has been four years since we acquired the hyperthermia division from BSD Medical and started Pyrexar Medical. In addition to getting the technology rights to this life-changing technology, we also received a group of great, hardworking people. Pyrexar may be only celebrating year four, but we do this sitting atop four decades of drive, innovation, and the desire to give those that are battling cancer, a higher chance at disease-free survival.
We are looking toward achieving great strides in this next year. With that, we have many people to thank, and that includes you. Thank you to all of our supporters, partners, researchers, physicians, physicists, radiation therapists, nurses, and administrative staff around the world. To those that continue to believe in the bright future of hyperthermia and to those who demand the best outcomes for their patients.
Ascension is the most extensive Catholic health system in the world and the largest non-profit health system in the United States with facilities in 23 states and the District of Columbia. It is a faith-based collaboration of hospitals, medical practices, and innovators that shares best practices and the objective of developing healthier communities throughout the United States by community outreach and researching means of reducing the cost of healthcare.
North Macomb Radiation Oncology Center, located in Macomb Township, Michigan on the campus of Ascension- St. John Hospital Health Center, is dedicated to providing their patients with the very best in Radiation Oncology services by combining personalized, compassionate care with our extensive clinical experience and cutting edge therapies. In alignment with there treatment goals, the center has added a BSD-500 Superficial/Interstitial hyperthermia system to aid in the treatment of cancer.
This facility has treated not only patients with common cancers such as breast, prostate, and lung, but also many patients with relatively uncommon cancers such as cancer of the head and neck, lymphoma and gynecological cancers. Amr Aref, M.D., is the Chief of Radiation Oncology for St. John Providence East Region and one of the most experienced radiation oncologists in the Metro Detroit area. Dr. Aref has a particular interest in breast cancer, head and neck cancer, and malignant lymphomas and given presentations of his work in those areas at national and international meetings. They were published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
To find out more about the thermal oncology program at the center, please use the contact link here.
Clinical Hyperthermia Practice Guidelines Workshop The goal of this workshop is to provide practical training for hyperthermia therapy personnel, including physicians, nurses, radiation therapists, and physicists. All speakers have clinical experience in their fields. Lectures from well-known experts on clinical, physics, and biology of hyperthermia will provide participants a comprehensive overview of practice guidelines to deliver safe and effective hyperthermia treatments. This multi-disciplinary workshop will also include talks on clinical workflow and reimbursement. The workshop is the first of its kind organized by STM and is open to STM2019 participants of all thermal therapy backgrounds.
How to Establish a Hyperthermia Program
Zeljko Vujaskovic, MD, PhD
Practice Guidelines for Superficial Hyperthermia
Jason K. Molitoris, MD
Practice Guidelines for Deep Hyperthermia
Mark Hurwitz, MD
Practice Guidelines for Interstitial Hyperthermia
John Hayes, MD
Equipment, Planning, and Execution of Microwave Superficial Hyperthermia Treatment
Paul Stauffer, MSEE, CCE
Equipment, Planning, and Execution of RF Deep Hyperthermia Treatment
Dario B. Rodrigues, PhD
Assessment of Hyperthermia Treatments based on Hypoxia Imaging
Mark Dewhirst, DVM, PhD
Clinical Workflow, Documentation and Reimbursement of Hyperthermia Treatments
Siteman Cancer Center is now offering superficial and interstitial hyperthermia, using the Pyrexar Medical BSD-500, to their cancer patients. The cancer center is located at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital within the Washington University Medical Center complex in the Central West End area of St. Louis, Missouri.
Although the system is utilized to treat a variety of indications, Dr. Imran Zoberi, Chief of Hyperthermia Service and Clinical Director of Radiation Oncology at Barnes-Jewish, is targeting recurrent chest wall tumors. Issues related to the treatment of recurrent breast cancer include radiation dosage limitations, post-surgical skin folds, scarring, and lesions that can make this form of recurrent breast cancer a challenge to treat. Dr. Zoberi, along with William Straube, Research Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology, has been long-time users of hyperthermia as an adjunct to radiotherapy. The new BSD-500 has replaced a retired Labthermics Sonotherm 1000.
According to a randomized phase III clinical trial (Jones study) published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and conclusions of a meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics, adding hyperthermia to radiation therapy can potentially double complete response overusing radiation alone in recurrent breast cancer.
One of our goals at Pyrexar Medical is to connect and share all of the significant advancements in hyperthermia from around the world. We believe that access to information, sharing of data, and participating in a global effort can give access to hyperthermia to more people.
We have started a new section on our website called Opinion Leaders. The purpose of this section is to initiate conversation and make new connections among physicians and researchers currently in the field. We want to create a community for those centers that wish to to add hyperthermia to their standard of care. We also believe this may give researchers an accelerated path to clinical studies by offering a more substantial patient database.
Current hyperthermia-focused conferences are in place but often lack the critical mass to expand hyperthermia centers in a meaningful way. There also requires the global data sharing necessary to move phase III studies forward. For example, the Hyperthermia European Adjuvant Trial (HEAT) is a randomized clinical phase III study comparing chemotherapy vs. chemotherapy plus hyperthermia in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Initiated in 2012, and with an estimated enrollment of 336 participants, the study hopes to populate sometime 2020. Seven years to generate a viable population study and another two years of data analysis. Could future studies move more rapidly if we had a global collaboration?
We hope we can advance this concept soon. Today, we want you to meet Dr. Nagraj Huilgol, our first entry in our Opinion Leaders directory.
A friendly reminder that the main Hyperthermia Conference Events in the US and Europe are right around the corner. These conferences are a gathering of the best in hyperthermia research and an excellent resource for those interested in the field of thermal oncology.
We just returned from a trip to India to attend the SCRAC (Society of Cancer Research and Communication) meeting in the coastal town of Juhu, Mumbai, India. We had the opportunity to meet radiation oncologists and cancer specialists from the region, and to present our pitch for hyperthermia. We have received positive indications that there will be several Pyrexar Medical Hyperthermia suites installed in India in 2019.
India is projected to be the world's most populous country by 2024. Surpassing the population of China, it is expected to be home to more than 1.7 billion people by 2050. With this continuing growth, the demand for health services also grows. The opportunities in the country are vast, and it appears hyperthermia has a chance to gain a foothold as a valuable adjunct cancer treatment.
SCRAC 2019 Program
Introduction to MRI Imaging - Dr. Mitusha Verma; Nanavati Hospital Texture analysis - a novel technique in Radio-genomics - Dr. Balaji Ganeshan; Chief Executive Officer TexRAD Ltd UK Introduction to MRI with Hyperthermia - Mr. Mark Falkowski, CEO; Pyrexar Medical MRI to study heat induced changes for diagnostics and MRTI - Dr. Nagraj Huilgol; Nanavati Hospital Group discussion to explore the possibilities to harness heat for diagnostics.
Last month the local affiliate in Salt Lake City, UT (headquarters for Pyrexar Medical), aired a five-part series on the use of hyperthermia in the treatment of cancer. The report focused on Gamma West Cancer Services, and their use of interstitial hyperthermia in combination with brachytherapy.
Key points from this series
Hyperthermia is a safe and highly effective cancer treatment
Several patients featured in the story did not expect survival before hyperthermia
Excellent adjunct treatment for Brachytherapy with similar treatment planning
We have added English language captions to the video series. Language captioning is an excellent opportunity to share this life-saving information on your social media websites. The more individuals that learn about this treatment, the more lives we can change.
Part 5 of the ABC news series on hyperthermia is probably the most important. In the past, we have talked about phase III clinical studies, and have shown peer-reviewed evidence that adding hyperthermia to radiotherapy and chemotherapy improves outcomes and extends life. We know it energizes the body's immune system to fight cancer on its own. We know it is well excepted as a cancer treatment in Europe and Asia.
But none of that matters. No matter how effective hyperthermia treatment is, it will not save your mother, your father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather or your child, if it remains relatively unknown in the U.S. Whether you know it or not, you have a choice in your medical treatment. It takes research and advocacy and the sharing of information. In this news series, you met four people who are here today because someone advocated for them and hyperthermia.
You can help more people survive cancer. Share this story. Shed some light that there are hyperthermia treatment protocols for most cancers that have solid tumors. Tell people that hyperthermia was once an ancient medical treatment, or that it uses some of the most advanced image-guided technology in medicine. Tell them there are 30 years of scientifically proven evidence; it has FDA approval, its available in university hospitals and cancer centers in this country, and can be covered by most insurance. There is a map on pyrexar.com that will show them where the closest center is located. It is that simple.
Thank you to all of the generous individuals that were involved in making this story happen. Thank you to the ABC Good4Utah news team for taking on topics that help others. To Gamma West Cancer Services for not backing away from patients that others have given up on. And to my co-workers at Pyrexar Medical, notably Paul Turner, who continues to improve this technology, and has for over 40 years. Thank you.
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.