SEATTLE, Jan. 30, 2007 – Swedish Cancer Institute today announced it is the first cancer-care program in the world to provide prostate cancer patients commercial access to the Calypso® 4D Localization System for precision-guided radiation therapy delivery to the prostate with continuous, objective, organ-motion tracking accuracy.
According to the American Cancer Society, radiation therapy is used to treat about one million cancer patients in the United States each year and is very effective in destroying cancer cells. However, in prostate cancer treatment the most common side effects arise when the radiation beam misses the prostate but irradiates adjacent healthy organs causing complications like impotence, urinary incontinence and rectal bleeding. Therefore, doctors must guard against damaging healthy tissues that surround the tumor caused by misalignment and unpredictable tumor motion.
The Calypso® 4D Localization System is now enabling Swedish Cancer Institute physicians the ability to pinpoint a prostate tumor's location with greater accuracy and continuously monitor its position in a real-time fashion during radiation treatment. This technology, which has FDA 510(k) clearance, uses tiny electromagnetic sensors, called Beacon® transponders, that are each about the size of a small grain of rice. Transponders are implanted in the prostate prior to treatment. Subsequently, the Calypso System continuously monitors the position and motion of the organ by tracking transponder positions during therapy delivery and alerts clinicians when the prostate is not properly aligned with the radiation beam.
"Patients are well educated in prostate cancer treatment options and seek the best treatment approach possible. We expect the Calypso® 4D Localization System to factor into the patient's decision when selecting Swedish for their radiation treatment. In fact, almost half of the initial patients implanted with Beacon® transponders have traveled more than 100 miles from their home to receive treatment at the Swedish Cancer Institute," said John Sylvester, M.D., radiation oncologist with the Seattle Prostate Institute at Swedish Medical Center. "That's quite a testimony to the value patients place on accurate treatment."
"This 4D monitoring technology is a key building block in the Swedish Cancer Institute's commitment to provide patients access to a complementary array of leading-edge radiation therapy delivery options through the Center for Advanced Targeted Radiation Therapies," said Albert B. Einstein Jr., M.D., executive director of the Swedish Cancer Institute. "We're honored to be the first program in the world to offer the Calypso System to prostate cancer patients."
The Swedish Cancer Institute's radiation oncology staff understood the importance of organ motion and its impact in radiation therapy delivery early on. That is why this collaborative relationship with fellow Seattle-based organization Calypso made sense and worked well.
"Over the last several years early product concepts were evaluated by Swedish Cancer Institute staff and contributed to the product design and operation," said Eric R. Meier, Calypso Medical president and CEO. "As a result, Calypso Medical was able to develop a very robust application, designed to improve the accuracy, efficiency and, for the first time, enable continuous, real-time tumor tracking. We believe this will pave the way for expanded treatment delivery options in radiation therapy and enable clinicians to better manage organ motion during therapy. By partnering with clinical experts at the Swedish Cancer Institute, we expect to see unprecedented advancements in radiation therapy management and expanded treatment delivery options."
Frazier Healthcare Ventures founded and significantly participated in every financing round involving Calypso Medical for the development of early technology concepts. "The Swedish Cancer Institute's appreciation for the importance of organ motion and its impact on radiation therapy delivery combined with Calypso Medical's technical expertise and funding from Frazier Healthcare enabled this collaborative relationship between fellow Seattle-based organizations to produce excellent results," said Trevor Moody, general partner with Frazier Healthcare Ventures.
About Calypso® Medical Technologies, Inc.
Calypso Medical Technologies, Inc. ("Calypso") is a Seattle-based, privately held medical device company. The company's proprietary tumor localization system utilizes miniaturized implanted devices (Beacon® electromagnetic transponders) to continuously, accurately and objectively pinpoint the location of tumors for improved accuracy in radiation therapy. Calypso addresses two major issues in modern radiation oncology: errors in treatment set-up and tumor motion during treatment. In addition, the Calypso® 4D Localization System's non-ionizing electromagnetic guidance has the potential to improve work flow efficiency and treatment-room utilization. The technology is designed for body-wide cancers commonly treated with radiation therapy, including prostate, breast, lung, head, neck and other radiation therapy target organs. FDA 510(k) clearance for use in the prostate only was received July 2006. For more information, visit www.calypsomedical.com
About Swedish Medical Center
Swedish Medical Center is the largest, most comprehensive, nonprofit health provider in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in 1910, Swedish now encompasses three hospital campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill (formerly Providence) and Ballard – totaling 1,245 licensed beds, a new freestanding emergency room and specialty center in Issaquah, Swedish Home Care Services and Swedish Physicians – a network of 12 primary-care clinics located throughout the Greater Seattle area. In addition to general medical and surgical care, Swedish is known as a regional referral center, providing specialized treatment in areas such as cancer care, cardiovascular care, orthopedics, high-risk obstetrics, neurological care, sleep medicine, pediatrics, organ transplantation and clinical research. For more information, visit www.swedish.org
About Swedish Cancer Institute
The Swedish Cancer Institute (SCI) opened in 1932 as the first dedicated cancer-care center west of the Mississippi. Today, it is the largest and most comprehensive cancer treatment program in the Pacific Northwest, caring for more people with more types of cancer than any other provider in the region. The Institute has a presence on all three of Swedish's hospital campuses – First Hill, Cherry Hill (formerly Providence) and Ballard – as well as in East King County via a new medical oncology clinic near Issaquah. A true multidisciplinary facility, the SCI offers a wide range of advanced cancer-treatment options in chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery – backed by extensive diagnostic capabilities, patient education and support-group services. The SCI's clinical-research arm encompasses industry-sponsored and cooperative group therapeutic trials, cancer screening and prevention trials, and investigator-initiated trials. Breast-cancer screening and diagnostics are available through the Swedish Breast Care Centers and mobile mammography units. Swedish radiation therapy is also offered at area hospitals including Stevens Hospital (Edmonds); Valley Medical Center (Renton); Highline Community Hospital (Burien) and Northwest Hospital (North Seattle). For more information, visit www.swedish.org
About the Center for Advanced Targeted Radiation Therapies
The Swedish Cancer Institute's Center for Advanced Targeted Radiation Therapies encompasses the comprehensive and complimentary array of advanced and emerging radiation delivery tools available to patients for both approved therapies and clinical research efforts. They include a variety of technologies, including Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT), linear accelerator-based stereotactic radio surgery, Calypso® 4D Localization System, Xoft Axxent™ Electronic Brachytherapy System, MammoSite® Radiation Therapy System, the Seattle CyberKnife Center™ at Swedish Medical Center, and Northwest Hospital Gamma Knife Center. For more information, visit www.swedish.org
About the Seattle Prostate Institute at Swedish Medical Center
The Seattle Prostate Institute was established in 1997 by a group of physicians who, in the mid-80's, had pioneered the introduction and development of ultrasound-guided prostate implantation in the United States from their base at Seattle's Northwest Hospital. After relocating to Swedish Medical Center, these physicians sought to expand and improve upon the work they had started with an emphasis on the highest standards of patient care, medical research, and clinical education. To date, SPI physicians – who include Drs. John Blasko, Peter Grimm, John Sylvester and Stephen Eulau – have performed more that 10,000 prostate implants. The leadership role and professional reputation of the SPI medical team has firmly established the Institute as the leading center of expertise in the area of prostate brachytherapy. Not only do patients come from around the nation and around the world for consultation and treatment, but physicians and other health professionals from the U.S. and abroad are also drawn to Seattle to participate in SPI's highly respected clinical education and training programs. For more information, visit www.seattleprostateinst.com
About Frazier Healthcare Ventures
Founded in 1991, Frazier Healthcare is one of the nation's leading providers of venture capital and growth equity to emerging health-care companies. It has more than $1.2 billion of capital under management. Having invested in more than 100 emerging health-care organizations, Frazier Healthcare is well known for its depth of experience and the technical expertise of its investment team. This experience encompasses product development and launch, clinical trial implementation and design, industry operating experience, academic research and clinical practice. For more information, visit www.frazierhealthcare.com
- To read the transcript and watch the video of a related story that KING Television (channel 5; NBC) aired on Jan. 30, 2007click here.
- To read the transcript of a related story that ABCNews.com posted online on Feb. 12, 2007click here.
- To read a related article posted on www.xconomy.com on June 25, 2008, click here.