First US patients receive Esteya electronic brachytherapy for skin cancer
Patient-friendly treatment helps minimize radiation exposure to healthy tissues
LOS GATOS, Calif., March 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — On January 14, a 67-year-old male patient received his final Esteya® electronic brachytherapy session to treat a squamous cell carcinoma on his right hand. He was the first patient in the United States to receive Esteya treatment, which was delivered at a Los Gatos, California clinic by Rakesh Patel, MD, Medical Director at The Targeted Radiation Institute (Bay Area, California). Since Dr. Patel began treatment of the patient in late December, he has added nine additional patients to the Esteya schedule.
Esteya electronic brachytherapy is a form of high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy that brings an electronic brachytherapy source in close proximity to the cancerous site. Its direct delivery enables Esteya to focus more therapeutic radiation on the disease target and to minimize radiation to surrounding tissues and organs. The therapy typically is delivered over six to eight treatments twice per week.
“The hand is traditionally a very difficult place to treat because of healing issues,” Dr. Patel says. “In this first Esteya case, the main concern was to preserve hand functionality. The skin on the hand is very thin and there are nerves and tendons that we want to avoid the risk of damage that surgery potentially incurs. Treatment with this approach also is pain-free, non-invasive and takes just a few minutes per fraction.”
Simple and refined
Dr. Patel, past president of the American Brachytherapy Society, adds that in comparison to other HDR brachytherapy systems, Esteya offers a combination of simplicity and refinement.
“Esteya has significant advantages over current brachytherapy technology,” he observes. “The quality assurance [QA] process is more robust and efficient, requiring only a once-daily, two-minute QA. In other systems, QA must be done not only for every source in every machine, but also for every single patient every time they come in, which decreases clinic efficiency.
“Superficial radiotherapy employs a similar energy range as electronic brachytherapy, the source to skin distance in superficial, orthovoltage or electron beam radiotherapy is greater, which translates into higher doses at depth,” he adds. “With these technologies – if you’re trying to treat a small, superficial skin lesion, like a skin cancer, particularly in a cosmetically sensitive area such as the face – you will potentially get unnecessary collateral radiation exposure to deeper structures. This is not the case in highly tailored electronic brachytherapy.
“Electronic brachytherapy systems present a tremendous opportunity for patients with skin cancer by extending the reach of brachytherapy beyond cancer centers and radiation facilities.”
Esteya is not available for sale or distribution in all markets.
Elekta is a human care company pioneering significant innovations and clinical solutions for treating cancer and brain disorders. The company develops sophisticated, state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems for radiation therapy, radiosurgery and brachytherapy, as well as workflow enhancing software systems across the spectrum of cancer care. Stretching the boundaries of science and technology, providing intelligent and resource-efficient solutions that offer confidence to both healthcare providers and patients, Elekta aims to improve, prolong and even save patient lives.
Today, Elekta solutions in oncology and neurosurgery are used in over 6,000 hospitals worldwide. Elekta employs around 3,500 employees globally. The corporate headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on the Nordic Exchange under the ticker STO:EKTAB. Website: www.elekta.com.
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