Medical Device Dailys

The Cambridge University Hospitals (Cambridge, UK) is retiring a 64 slice computed tomography (CT) unit, replacing it with a dual-energy Somaton Definition Flash from Siemens (Erlangen, Germany), one of the first European hospital to install the high-end scanner introduced last year.

Siemens declined to confirm if this order was the magic 500th sale of a dual-source CT that the company reported last week (Medical Device Daily, July 1, 2009).

Ashley Shaw, MD, Lead Radiologist for CT at Addenbrooke's Hospital, one of the hospitals making up the Cambridge Nationl Health Service (NHS) Trust, said the new scanner will support routine imaging with four other CT units in the group, including neurology and whole body scanning, as well as aiding in the development of new cardiac services.

Capable of scanning the entire chest region in 0.6 seconds and scanning the heart in 250 milliseconds, or half of a heartbeat, the Definition Flash can image hearts with a fast pulse or an irregular beat without using beta blockers.

The Somaton line uniquely offers two X-ray tubes on a single gantry to increase the speed of scanning, rather than expanding the detector array.

Despite adding a second source of radiation, the increased speed of image acquisition actually decreases radiation dosages, such that the system performs an angiography examination in the sub-millisievert range, an exposure level three times lower than ambient radiation a person absorbs in the course of a year.

"We will be able to image patients at a greatly reduced dose and this will be invaluable for the people we see on a more regular basis," said Dr. Shaw, adding, "We are also hoping to omit one phase of the diagnostic study for some patients, which sill not only alleviate dose on the individual, but enable us to make efficient use of the machine."

Tryton reports 1st enrollment in E-Tryton 150

Tryton Medical (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina) a developer of stents designed to definitively treat bifurcation lesions, reported enrollment of the first patient in E-Tryton 150, a registry study of the company's Tryton side branch stent system. E-Tryton 150 is one of four registries in Europe evaluating the system in real-world clinical settings.

The stent is designed to offer a dedicated strategy for treating atherosclerotic lesions at the site of a bifurcation. Bifurcation lesions have presented a challenge for cardiologists since the earliest days of angioplasty. Current approaches to treating these lesions have significant limitations. As a result, the side branch is often left unstented, leaving it vulnerable to higher rates of restenosis, the re-narrowing of the stented vessel following implantation.

The E-Tryton 150 registry will enroll 150 patients in several European sites. The primary endpoint of the study is the overall rate of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) at six months following the procedure. MACE is defined as cardiac death, myocardial infarction and target lesion revascularization (main and/or side branch). The study will also assess the technical success of the Tryton stent, procedural success, and the rate of target lesion revascularization (TLR) at six months after the procedure.

"We're very pleased to begin enrollment in E-Tryton," said J. Greg Davis, president/CEO of Tryton. "We are excited about the benefits that our technology promises for patients with cardiovascular disease, and we look forward to real-life practice results of the study."

The system is designed to offer a dedicated strategy for treating atherosclerotic lesions in the side branch at the site of a bifurcation. These areas of the vascular system are a common location for plaque and are particularly challenging to treat with currently available stent systems. About 20% of patients treated for coronary artery disease are treated for bifurcated lesions. The system received CE mark approval in February 2008.

Tryton's highly deliverable cobalt chromium stent is deployed in the side branch artery using a standard single-wire balloon-expandable stent delivery system. A conventional drug eluting stent is then placed in the main vessel.

Elekta to invest in cancer care projects

The medical technology company Elekta (Stockholm, Sweden) has formed an investment company, Global Medical Investments (GMI), with Swedfund International for financing and establishment of cancer care projects in developing countries.

GMI will invest, develop and support the establishment of cancer management programs in developing countries across the world in cooperation with local healthcare providers and partners.

"We are very pleased that we, in cooperation with Swedfund, have been able to establish this investment vehicle for the development of cancer care programs in the most needing countries in the world. Our expertise in cancer and cancer management, combined with Swedfund's long experience of successful development investments in third world countries, provide a unique opportunity to support the development of advanced health care in many developing countries", said Laurent Leksell, founder and executive director of Elekta.

Elekta and Swedfund will each invest up to $10 million in GMI. Through this initiative Elekta will also strengthen its presence in countries where the company has limited business activities, it said.

GMI is currently in the final stage of development of the first sophisticated radiotherapy center in Accra, Ghana. This is developed in close collaboration with Scandinavian Care Projects, which is leading this project, and with local partners. The cancer center is expected to initiate treatment in the first half of 2010, and will give the people in Ghana access to effective and cost efficient cancer treatment with Elekta's latest technology.