Swedish Cancer Institute first to offer  precision-treatment of prostate cancer with organ-motion tracking

5 February 2007

Seattle, USA. The Swedish Cancer Institute in Seattle is the first to offer prostate cancer treatment with the Calypso 4D Localization System for precision-guided radiation therapy with continuous, objective, organ-motion tracking.

The Calypso 4D Localization System is now enabling the Swedish Cancer Institute physicians the ability to pinpoint a prostate tumour's location with greater accuracy and continuously monitor its position in real-time during radiation treatment.

This technology, which has FDA 510(k) clearance, uses tiny electromagnetic sensors, called Beacon transponders, that are each about the size of a small grain of rice. Transponders are implanted in the prostate prior to treatment. Subsequently, the Calypso System continuously monitors the position and motion of the organ by tracking transponder positions during therapy delivery and alerts clinicians when the prostate is not properly aligned with the radiation beam.

Radiation therapy is used to treat about one million cancer patients in the United States each year and is very effective in destroying cancer cells. However, in prostate cancer treatment the most common side effects arise when the radiation beam misses the prostate but irradiates adjacent healthy organs causing complications like impotence, urinary incontinence and rectal bleeding. Therefore, doctors must guard against damaging healthy tissues that surround the tumour caused by misalignment and unpredictable tumour motion.

"Patients are well educated in prostate cancer treatment options and seek the best treatment approach possible. We expect the Calypso 4D Localization System to factor into the patient's decision when selecting Swedish for their radiation treatment. In fact, almost half of the initial patients implanted with Beacon transponders have traveled more than 100 miles from their home to receive treatment at the Swedish Cancer Institute," said John Sylvester, M.D., radiation oncologist with the Seattle Prostate Institute at Swedish Medical Center. "That's quite a testimony to the value patients place on accurate treatment."

"This 4D monitoring technology is a key building block in the Swedish Cancer Institute's commitment to provide patients access to a complementary array of leading-edge radiation therapy delivery options through the Center for Advanced Targeted Radiation Therapies," said Albert B. Einstein Jr., M.D., executive director of the Swedish Cancer Institute. "We're honoured to be the first program in the world to offer the Calypso System to prostate cancer patients."

"Over the last several years early product concepts were evaluated by Swedish Cancer Institute staff and contributed to the product design and operation," said Eric R. Meier, Calypso Medical president and CEO. "As a result, Calypso Medical was able to develop a very robust application, designed to improve the accuracy, efficiency and, for the first time, enable continuous, real-time tumour tracking. We believe this will pave the way for expanded treatment delivery options in radiation therapy and enable clinicians to better manage organ motion during therapy. By partnering with clinical experts at the Swedish Cancer Institute, we expect to see unprecedented advancements in radiation therapy management and expanded treatment delivery options."

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