April 25, 2007
WellStar Kennestone Hospital First Medical Center to Treat Early Stage Breast Cancer With New Treatment
MARIETTA, Ga., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- WellStar Kennestone Hospital and The Breast Center in Marietta directed by Philip Z. Israel, M.D., announced today that it has completed treatment of the first breast cancer patient with a breakthrough new therapy for early stage breast cancer. Designed to help reduce recurrence of breast cancer, the Axxent(R) Electronic Brachytherapy System from Xoft, Inc., uses a miniaturized X-ray source that can deliver localized and targeted radiation treatment in virtually any clinical setting under the supervision of a radiation oncologist. WellStar Kennestone is the first medical center in the world to use an Axxent System, bringing improved patient access to the new cancer treatment that is delivered more easily and conveniently.
"We are excited to be the first breast care center to offer this exciting new treatment for early stage breast cancer designed to reduce recurrence utilizing electronic, X-ray based radiation therapy," said Dr. Kenneth Haile, medical director of the radiation oncology department at Kennestone Hospital. "Unlike brachytherapy sources containing radioactive isotopes, the Electronic Brachytherapy X-ray source can be turned on and off at will, enabling it to be delivered in many clinical settings rather than in traditional heavily-shielded environments. The result is on-demand X-ray treatments that we expect will improve patient access to critical radiation therapy."
Used to treat cancer for more than 100 years, radiation therapy is administered after breast-sparing surgery to hopefully kill stray cancer cells that might remain in the breast and is proven to reduce the rate of local recurrences and improve long-term survival. Cleared by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of early stage breast cancer, the Axxent System is designed to deliver therapy directly to cancer sites with minimal radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. Eliminating the need for heavily shielded environments, it gives radiation oncologists the flexibility to deliver therapy in a broader range of clinical settings.
Data from several randomized controlled clinical studies has demonstrated that radiation therapy is an essential component of treatment for breast cancer when the patient wishes to conserve her breast with lumpectomy surgery as opposed to undergoing a full mastectomy. However, more recent studies have shown that many patients opt out of receiving breast sparing surgery with radiation therapy due to time, distance, or difficulty accessing radiation therapy centers.
Use of the Axxent Electronic Brachytherapy System provides the ability to reduce the time required for radiation therapy for early stage breast cancer from seven weeks (for external radiation therapy) down to five days. As a result, tens of thousands of patients will have greater access to therapy that is delivered more easily and conveniently. This may accelerate patient choice of breast sparing lumpectomy surgery with adjuvant radiation therapy over the alternative of a full mastectomy.
"As Electronic Brachytherapy now moves into clinical practice, all signs are that this technology represents a leap forward in cancer treatment," added Dr. Israel, director of The Breast Center in Marietta. "However, as important as the clinical benefits are, the true breakthrough may relate to easy and convenient access to non-radioactive brachytherapy for women who today opt for mastectomy or lumpectomy without radiation therapy."
"We are proud to work with WellStar Kennestone Hospital to make this breakthrough new treatment available to breast cancer patients," said Michael Klein, Xoft CEO and president. "As WellStar and our other clinical sites begin to incorporate the Axxent System into routine practice, we are convinced that Electronic Brachytherapy represents a paradigm shift in radiation therapy and holds significant promise to help breast surgeons and radiation oncologists work together to provide the best possible outcomes in a therapy that is easier and more convenient for patients."
For more information on Electronic Brachytherapy contact the radiation oncology department at Kennestone Hospital. This treatment may not be suitable for all breast cancer cases.
About Xoft, Inc.
Xoft is developing leading-edge new technologies for the practice of radiation oncology through Electronic Brachytherapy, which utilizes proprietary miniaturized x-ray tube technology. The Axxent(R) Electronic Brachytherapy System, Xoft's first treatment system, is currently being used in Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI) for the treatment of early-stage breast cancer. This solution provides a therapeutic dose of intracavitary radiation directly to the region at risk without the complex handling and resource logistics necessary when performing brachytherapy using radioactive isotopes.
The vision of WellStar Health System is to deliver world class healthcare through our hospitals, physicians and services. WellStar Health System includes Cobb, Douglas, Kennestone, Paulding and Windy Hill hospitals; WellStar Physicians Group; Urgent Care Centers; Health Place; Homecare; Hospice; Atherton Place; and WellStar Foundation. For more information, call (770) 956-STAR or visit http://www.wellstar.org/.
NOTE: Axxent is a registered trademark of Xoft, Inc.
Xoft, Inc. & Wellstar Health System
Web site: http://www.wellstar.org/