IsoRay, Inc. (Amex: ISR) announced today that it has completed a license agreement with Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOLX) for exclusive worldwide distribution rights to the GliaSite® radiation therapy system, the world's only FDA-cleared balloon catheter device used in the treatment of brain cancer. The system's balloon catheter is a landmark technology that allows physicians to treat more patients than ever before with brachytherapy or internal radiation and provides important benefits over other radiation treatment options.
“Progress spells hope for patients and the physicians who help them. The GliaSite system represents further achievement as we work toward our goal of expanding brachytherapy solutions throughout the entire body and improving outcomes for cancer patients”
Brain cancer presents unique treatment challenges. Brain tumors are very often difficult to remove completely because of the need to avoid damaging the brain. Further, tumors tend to spread to healthy parts of the brain. Typically, surgeons remove as much as they can of the tumor and then treat the areas surrounding where the tumor was removed with radiation therapy. They sometimes use chemotherapy as well. However, most cancerous brain tumors reoccur shortly following removal, and the cancer tends to return near the site of the original tumor. Brain cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers and recurrence often proves fatal.
The GliaSite system offers a number of advantages in brain cancer treatment. It places a specified high dose of a liquid radiation source in the areas most likely to contain cancer after brain tumor removal and is less likely to damage healthy brain tissue. It helps eliminate the ability for the tumor to reoccur, which in turn impacts patient longevity.
In a related major development, IsoRay is moving forward with the regulatory approval process for its new liquid form of Cesium-131, an exciting advance in brachytherapy for the treatment of brain cancer, that would be delivered using the GliaSite radiation therapy system.
IsoRay CEO Dwight Babcock said physicians have voiced strong support for the GliaSite system and liquid Cesium-131 combination because they recognize the benefits afforded their patients. "In America alone, more than 200,000 men, women, and children are diagnosed with brain cancers every year. The GliaSite therapy system and its use to deliver a liquid radiation source is a versatile, effective treatment for numerous brain cancers," he said.
Cesium-131 brachytherapy is a patented internal radiation therapy that has several advantages over older radioactive isotopes including faster delivery of a radiation dose that allows less time and opportunity for the cancer cells to repopulate and has a soft energy that minimizes radiation exposure for the operating room and support staff as well as the patient's family members.
Babcock said this is another step forward in IsoRay's efforts to advance cancer treatment. "Progress spells hope for patients and the physicians who help them. The GliaSite system represents further achievement as we work toward our goal of expanding brachytherapy solutions throughout the entire body and improving outcomes for cancer patients," said Babcock.
Previously, approximately 500 GliaSite cases were performed annually at some 40 hospitals worldwide. GliaSite therapy has established reimbursement for both in-patient and out-patient settings.