RICHLAND, Wash. (TheStreet) -- IsoRay (ISR) does a poor job selling radioactive "seeds" for use in cancer radiation therapy. To make up for the inability to deliver revenue growth -- and prop up its stock price -- IsoRay issues a lot of promotional press releases, some of which take liberties with clinical data using clever, selective editing.
Take Wednesday's IsoRay announcement about the publication of a study involving use of the company's seed brachytherapy product Cesium-131 to treat patients with early-stage lung cancer after surgery. The press release headline reads, "IsoRay's Cesium-131 Lung Cancer Treatment Reports 96% Success in Local Control and 100% Survival at 5 Years in High Risk Patients in Newly Published Report."
100% survival! That's an attention grabber. The IsoRay press release about the study goes on to describe the Cesium-131 results as "outstanding." Twice.
IsoRay shares almost doubled in price to $3.12 Wednesday. The stock is up another 3% Thursday.
Few investors are reading the actual study involving Cesium-131 published in the medical journal Brachytherapy. If they read the study -- and I did -- you'd see IsoRay is lazy with the facts.
Yes, 96% of lung cancer patients demonstrated "local control" (meaning control of tumor in the lung) following surgery plus treatment with Cesium-131. But two other groups of lung cancer patients in the Brachytherapy study who had either surgery alone or a different form of radiation therapy demonstrated statistically equivalent rates of local control. The study authors note there were no differences in local control rates between the groups of lung cancer patients.