IsoRay (AMEX: ISR), a medical technology company and innovator in seed brachytherapy and medical radioisotope applications, announced today that doctors at New York Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical Center have performed the world's first treatment of metastasized brain cancer using IsoRay's Cesium-131 brachytherapy (internal radiation therapy) seeds. The seeds were implanted directly into a woman's brain to treat a cancer that had originated in the breast. Treatment of metastasized cancers, cancers that originate in other organs, is the latest application of IsoRay's pioneering brachytherapy treatment that represents one of the most important advancements in internal radiation therapy in the last 20 years.
Brain cancer treatment often involves removal of the brain tumor and then waiting several weeks while patients heal from the surgery before beginning external beam radiation treatment. However, delays in treatment can increase the chance of tumor recurrence. According to recent comments by New York Presbyterian Radiation Oncologist Dr. A. Gabriella Wernicke, M.D., M.Sc.,Cesium-131 offers an important alternative because it gives doctors the opportunity to act immediately. "By implanting the seeds into the surgical cavity right away, we essentially avoid the wait and therefore prevent the potential recurrence of the tumor at the surgical site," she explained. For a personal testimony, listen to the patient who received the first, groundbreaking treatment in her own words and learn more regarding the procedure at http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/health/medical_breakthroughs/brain-seeds%3A-planting-tumor-fighters.
Since the successful treatment of the first patient, doctors at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center have expanded their use of IsoRay's patented Cesium-131 brachytherapy seeds to treat more than 20 other patients with recurrent Glioblastomas as well as metastasized brain cancer.
Cesium-131 offers many benefits over previously available alternatives. It does not require the many weeks of follow on treatment necessary in traditional external beam radiation, which involves numerous return trips to the hospital. In fact, Cesium-131 seeds deliver radiation quickly and aggressively compared to other types of internal, low dose rate radiation and limit damage to healthy surrounding tissues and organs. This is because of Cesium-131's shorter half life of 9.7 days compared to other radioactive isotopes used in internal radiation therapy. This pioneering treatment directly impacts longevity and the potential of recurrence, while improving quality of life and offering the opportunity for patients to return to normal activities more quickly.IsoRay CEO Dwight Babcock says that he sees this as just the beginning: "The thought leaders at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center were among the early adopters of Cesium-131 because they were quick to recognize the important advantages Cesium-131 offers patients. I strongly believe that adoption of Cesium-131 for the treatment of primary and metastasized cancers will continue growing at an increasing rate as the medical community becomes aware of the significant advantages it offers in treating cancer sites throughout the body."