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.