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Pyrexar Medical
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Making a Difference in Cancer Care
Making a Difference in Cancer Care

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New Study shows that Radiated Hyperthermia is superior to Capacitive Hyperthermia in the Treatment of Superficial Cancerous Tumors. Clinical data demonstrates that adding superficial hyperthermia treatment to radiation in the treatment of Recurrent Chest Wall Tumors (breast cancer) and malignant melanoma can double* the complete response (tumor eliminated) rate. Add Hyperthermia, Your chances of beating cancer DOUBLES!

The downside, not everyone who claims to offer hyperthermia can deliver this potentially life saving benefit. It essential comes down to two heat delivery methodologies; Capacitive vs Radiated Electromagnetic Fields. In a recent comparison study at the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Amsterdam, researchers H.P. Kok and J. Crezee compare hyperthermia systems made by Pyrexar, ALBA, Oncotherm, Celcius 42 and Thermotron. SPOILER ALERT: Pyrexar’s BSD-500 Superficial Hyperthermia system is the only one among the systems tested to earn FDA Approval.

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In the follow-up fifth installment of the ABC story, we see hyperthermia cancer treatment take a foothold in Utah. Gamma West Cancer Services, serving the Intermountain West starts its own thermal oncology group. We hear about their early success with the treatment and their plans to expand the service. If you missed the previous Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3 • Part 4 you can use the links.

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Data does not Lie, Oncotherm... well??

We have recently heard a few stories from doctors who have purchased Oncotherm systems. When asked why they did not choose the industry standard, Pyrexar Medical, for their hyperthermic cancer treatment center, their answers revealed some sly misinformation. The statements below are hearsay, and we presume that the anecdotal information was represented to physicians during the equipment sales process. We have provided statement ratings to help you separate fact from fiction.

Read the Full post below



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STM 2017 Highlights

This years STM (Society of Thermal Medicine) conference was a great success. The 3 day event was held at the beautiful CasaMagna Marriot Resort in Cancun, Mexico. The society strives to promote new discoveries in thermal biology, physics/engineering and medicine. Each year they come together to present their ideas in this forum.


Highlights

1) Dr. Rolf Issels, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, included an update on the long term survival benefit of adding hyperthermia to chemotherapy for soft tissue sarcoma in the Phase III randomized clinical trial. Data demonstrates a more than doubling the overall survival time. Chemotherapy averaging 6.2 years vs. 15.4 years when adding hyperthermia. Treatments were performed using the Pyrexar BSD-2000.

2) Dr. Jacoba Van der Zee, Erasmus University, gave a very good talk reviewing 55 hyperthermia randomized trials including 5,099 patients showing the significant effectiveness of HT. Significant benefit was found in 19 of 27 trials when adding hyperthermia to radiation therapy, 9 of 11 trials when adding HT to chemotherapy, and in 7 of 10 trials by adding HT to both radiation plus chemotherapy. Concluding, “These results indicate that hyperthermia is a universal and effective modifier of radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy in malignant tumors.”

3) Dr. Elizabeth Repasky, Roswell Cancer Center, presented a plenary lecture describing the many ways that elevated temperature and physical stresses can stimulate immune responses.

4) Dr. Hana Trefna, Chalmers University of Technology, presented efforts to release in this summer a new ESHO QA guideline to support the growing interest and application of interstitially applied hyperthermia with Brachytherapy.

5) Dr. Ruediger Wessalowski, University of Dusseldorf, reported the success in treating pediatric ovarian germ cell tumors with hyperthermia and chemotherapy using the Pyrexar BSD-2000 system. This study included 22 patients. The overall survival in this patient population with an unfavorable prognosis was 71% (95% CI 46-86). This concluded: “A multi-modality therapy including regional hyperthermia according to the Hyper-PEI protocol has led to long-term remission in the majority of patients with advanced refractory or recurrent ovarian germ cell tumors.”

6) Dr. Niloy Datta, Kantonspital Aarau AG, presented a systemic review and meta-analysis of HT and RT in locally recurrent breast cancer which was also published in 2016. This review report included 34 clinical studies that included 2110 patients. The conclusion of the met-analysis is “Thermoradiotherpay (HTRT) enhances the likelihood of complete response rates in locally recurrent breast carcinomas (LRBTCs) over radiation therapy alone by 22% with minimal acute and late morbidities. For even those previously irradiated, re-irradiation with hyperthermia provides a loco-regional control in two-thirds of the patients. HTRT could therefore be considered as an effective and safe palliative treatment option for LRBCs.”

7) Dr. James Snider, University of Maryland, reported treatments for 87 patients treated with the Pyrexar BSD-500. Of this group 3 patients were treated by a pencil beam scanning proton therapy method showing the feasibility of combining hyperthermia with proton therapy.

8) Dr. Arpit Chabra, University of Maryland, reported on the use of the Pyrexar BSD-500 hyperthermia as an external thermal therapy (ETT) method with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) in treating non-melanoma skin cancers on 6 patients. The conclusion stated: “This data tends to support strong consideration of using ETT concurrently with EBRT in this setting. “

9) Gerard Van Rhoon, Phd, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, was presented with the 28th J. Eugene Robinson award presented annually to an investigator who has made outstanding contributions to the field of hyperthermic oncology.

10 ) Mark W. Dewhirst, Phd, Duke University, was presented with the George M Hahn award presented every other year to an investigator whose research has contributed in a significant way to new clinical applications in thermal therapy.

Thanks for STM president Robert Ivkov, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and team for putting on an amazing event.

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ASTRO 2016 Setup Day

Saturday was set-up day for Pyrexar at the ASTRO 2016. The exhibition, held at the Boston Convention Center, is expected to draw 10,000 radiation oncologist, physicist and therapists from around the globe. This year we had a nice in-line space across the isle from one of our customers, 21st Century Oncology.  Their Fort Meyers, FL location uses a BSD-500 Superficial/Interstitial Hyperthermia System to treat a variety of cancers including recurrent chest wall tumors and melanoma.

Crates arrived on time and the booth will be ready to go for Sunday’s exhibition opening. Watch for tomorrow's blog to see the booth.
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2016-10-04
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ASTRO, Hyperthermia and RVUs

Our first day at ASTRO 2016 (American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology) was a very successful one.  We had the opportunity to present our technology and to field questions from attendees of the conference.  One theme that continued throughout the day was hyperthermia reimbursement. What we learned; patient outcomes were still very important to physicians, but its all about the RVUs.

Doctors’ time and energy are not always measured in lives saved, and patient wellness. Now they need to devote part of their busy days on managing RVUs. Relative Value Units are a measure of value used in the United States Medicare reimbursement formula for physician services.  RVUs are part of the system Medicare uses to decide how much it will reimburse physicians for each of the 9,000-plus services and procedures covered under its Physician Fee Schedule, and which are assigned current procedural terminology (CPT) code numbers. A well patient visit, for example, would be assigned a lower RVU than an invasive surgical procedure.
Hyperthermia is a non-invasive treatment that increases the patients chances of beating cancer. How does Hyperthermia play in the RVU system? What we learned is that hospitals and cancer centers need to be competitive to attract new patients. Although it is been clinically proven that hyperthermia treatment improves cancer outcomes, it is not in every hospital and cancer center.  And limited resource creates higher demand. Centers need to attract patients outside of the facilities geographic radius in order to stay in business.

“Speaking with our Pyrexar installed base in the US, we are finding patients are requesting hyperthermia and traveling outside their local cancer centers to receive treatment” says Mark Kidd, VP Sales at Pyrexar. “Bringing in patients by offering the latest in cancer technology means more revenue for the center..
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2016-10-04
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Robots Invade ASTRO 2016

This year our CTO, Paul Turner, arrived to the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology exhibition via a shipping crate.  Our ability to communicate the highly important contribution that Pyrexar hyperthermia systems provide to cancer treatment takes a team.  So how do you bring your entire team to Boston in a fiscally responsible way?  You do it virtually, with a virtual presence robot. Our entire staff at our Salt Lake City headquarters was available to answer attendee questions simply by taking controls remotely of our onsite robot.  "We use this technology in our office everyday" says Mark Falkowski, CEO of Pyrexar, "having control of your virtual presence in the office is different from a Skype meeting, it gives you the autonomy to go just about anywhere".

Not only was Paul available for meetings and to answer questions, he often posed for photographs during the show.
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2016-10-04
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World's Largest Hospital Supporting Hyperthermia

A high-point of the show was an impromptu presentation by Dr. Daoke Yang on the advances of hyperthermia in China.  Dr. Yang is the head of oncology for the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University. Dr. Yang presented clinical data to support the benefits of hyperthermia as an adjunct to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. And explained in great detail, the triggered immune response when heat is applied to tumor cells.

First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University is the largest hospital in the world. With over 10,000 beds (after the hospital's latest expansion opening Q1 2017), the hospital is not only the largest in the world, but nearly three times larger than the world’s second largest hospital in Belgrade, Serbia.

A special thanks to Mrs. Wang, president of Orientech Dalian, for orchestrating the visit. We are expecting to place several Pyrexar Hyperthermia systems in ZhangZhou early next year.
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2016-10-04
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Last Week at ASCO 2016

Last week we exhibited at the ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncologist) Annual meeting held in Chicago. With an estimated crowd of thirty three thousand, the primary message seemed to be dominated by immunotherapy. Everyone is looking for that trigger that will activate the immune system so the body will kill its own cancer.

So why was Pyrexar Medical there? Traditionally as an adjunct to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Hyperthermia has been very effective in shrinking tumors, killing cancer cells, and improving drug delivery.

There is preclinical evidence that heating a cancer tumor initiates a similar immuno-activation response potentially serving as an adjunct to the immunotherapy drugs in development. The diagram below demonstrates the immunomodulation induced by hyperthermia.

Preclinical evidence suggests that heating the cancer cells causes cell stress and the release of HSP (heat shock proteins). One of the roles of HSP it to assist the delivery and integration of Antigens, molecules which induce immune response, to the lymphatic system. With the information provided by the cancer specific Antigen, the Lymphatic system then produces cancer specific Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes ( aka T-Cells) with customized receptors that are capable of identifying, targeting and killing the cancer. Once the T-cells are programmed, heating has an additional benefit of increasing blood flow, speeding up the delivery of the T-cells to the cancer site.

Immunomodulation would explain the long term survival rates as reported in a Phase III Sarcoma study “Neo-adjuvant chemotherapy alone or with regional hyperthermia for localised high-risk soft-tissue sarcoma: a randomised phase 3 multicenter study” by well-known physician Dr. Rolf Issels. In this dual armed study, half of the Sarcoma patients received chemotherapy (CT) and the other half received chemotherapy + hyperthermia (CT+HT). Sarcoma patients receiving CT+HT not only had significantly increased tumor response, but remained cancer free more than two times longer than those who received chemotherapy alone.

https://youtu.be/OkZXNu7f14A

Heating boosts radiotherapy; heating boosts chemotherapy; it stands to reason, with all we know, that heating will boost Immunotherapy. Certainly a significant benefit for immunotherapy drug makers. Plus, this additional healing boost comes with very little to no ill effects or discomfort. Watch this short patient treatment testimonial for pancreatic cancer courtesy of ABC News Good4Utah.com
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Where is the Evidence that Hyperthermia Works?

If you want irrefutable proof that hyperthermia works, visit the US National Library of Medicine's website PubMed.gov, a division of the National Institute of Health (NIH). PubMed is a repository of over 26 million citations for biomedical literature. Using the search bar, type in “hyperthermia cancer treatment” and you will find over 25,000 results.

Too many results than most of us would find useful, so we narrowed down the list. The link below contains completed randomized trials using hyperthermia as an adjunct to radiation therapy and chemotherapy over the last 30 years. The studies reveal a higher tumor response when hyperthermia is added over chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy alone. Several of the studies use Pyrexar Medical equipment or lab built equipment using the same or similar radio frequency energy delivery system.

http://pyrexar.com/clinical/clinical-trials

So the next time someone challenges you with “where is the evidence that hyperthermia works?”, just send them to evidence.pyrexar.com and let them read it for themselves.
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