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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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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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Pyrexar Super User Receives Award for Hyperthermia Research

DR. Zeljko VujaskovicZeljko Vujaskovic , MD, PhD, a hyperthermia proponent and Pyrexar Hyperthermia systems “super user”, was presented with the J. Eugene Robinson Award. The award is presented annually to those how have made outstanding contributions to hyperthermic oncology. Dr. Vujaskovic, a professor of radiation oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the director of the Division of Translational Radiation Sciences at the University, is the twenty seventh recipient of this honor.

There has been a resurgence in focus int the field of Thermal Oncology in the past year. Many researchers are looking at hyperthermia as an effective immune system activator. Not only boosting the effect dose of radiation and increasing the effectiveness of drug delivery, but as a way to keep cancer from returning to those patients who have already battled the disease.

Dr. Vujaskovic was recently a featured speaker at this years Pyrexar Day. His complete presentation is available for review below.

https://youtu.be/EtoWi68_IZ8

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Visit Pyrexar at ASTRO 2016 Boston, Booth 11052

We would like you to join us for the 58th Annual ASTRO Meeting in Boston. ASTRO (American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology) is the premier radiation oncology society in the world. with more than ten thousand members.

Even though our 2015 booth space was off the beaten path, tucked against the wall, we had a tremendous turnout. With our new centralized location, we expect even greater exposure to share how hyperthermia can improve cancer treatment outcomes.

The exhibits run Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday, September 25th - 27th. From either main entrances, follow the carpet until you get to the sky bridge overhead. Turn right and look for booth 11052, directly across from 21st Century Oncology. Click the map for the full listing.

ASTRO 2016, Boston Convention Center, Sept 25th - 27th

If you would like to reserve some time in advance with one of our experts, submit the link form and we will confirm your appointment time. We look forward to seeing you there.
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HT+RT Beats CT+RT in Advanced Cervical Cancer

Researchers are combining traditional cancer treatment therapies in order to increase a patients chance of surviving cancer. Even a few percentage points in tumor response can represent a significant benefit in saving of a life. Dr. Niloy Datta. from Kantonsspital Aarau AG,Switzerland, presented his recently published meta-analysis paper at a conference held at the Scientific-Research Institute of Oncology, St. Petersburg, Russia.

In the analysis Dr. Datta compared results for treating advanced cancer of the cervix using combination therapies. When comparing Chemotherapy with Radiotherapy (CTRT) versus radiation alone, the odds benefit of complete tumor response was 1.43. When comparing Hyperthermia with Radiotherapy (HTRT) versus radiation alone, the odds of complete tumor response to 2.68.

Hyperthermia plus Radiation therapy provided superior outcomes without the increase in acute toxicity found with Chemotherapy.

https://youtu.be/eY87IWsvXgA
Go to minute 25:00 on the presentation to see the overall Odds and risk ratios presented.

The paper was published August 12th, 2016 in the International Journal of Hyperthermia, Hyperthermia and radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy in locally advanced cervical cancer: a systematic review with conventional and network meta-analyses. Niloy R. Datta, Susanne Rogers, Dirk Klingbiel, Silvia Gómez, Emsad Puric & Stephan Bodis


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In the second installment of the 4-part ABC story, we hear from Dr. Curt Heese of Cancer Treatment Centers of America on how hyperthermia is helping one particular pancreatic cancer patient stay alive.  Plus, Pyrexar introduces plans on the next generation image guided hyperthermia system.  Using MRI technology to ensure proper heating temperatures of cancer tumors.  If you missed part one, you can view it here.

The ABC news team included reporter Nadia Crow, videographer/editor John Eulberg and VP/GM of Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Richard Doutrè Jones.  This video is their second installment "How Hyperthermia Works". Follow the story link for a complete transcript.  Video included in this post, courtesy of Good4Utah.com.

http://pyrexar.com/hyperthermia-blog/153-abc-news-report-on-hyperthermia-part-2
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