• Abbott (Abbott Park, Illinois) said the XCELL trial, a clinical trial to investigate the use of minimally invasive stent placement for severe peripheral arterial disease (PAD) below the knee recently enrolled its 120th and final patient. The study, sponsored by VIVA Physicians (VPI) and supported by a research grant from Abbott, is the first in the U.S. to evaluate Abbott Vascular's Xpert nitinol stent in the arterial vessels below the knee. Self-expanding stents are tiny cylinders made of metal mesh that are placed in blocked arteries during minimally invasive interventional procedures. In the technique, a catheter is inserted through a small nick in the skin and threaded through the blood vessels to the site of the blockage under X-ray guidance. The stent is deployed through the catheter and expanded to prop open the diseased artery.

• Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) reported the publication of an article in the Journal of American College of Cardiology (JACC) reviewing data on patients who were evaluated for restenosis, or the re-narrowing of arteries after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). The article reported that patients who received a Taxus Liberte paclitaxel-eluting stent had numerically lower incidences of repeat procedures to treat restenosis at two years as compared to patients treated with 'olimus-based drug-eluting stents (DES), including Cordis' Cypher Stent and Medtronic's Endeavor Stent. In the patients with diabetes, the Taxus Liberte Stent demonstrated a statistically significant lower restenosis rate compared to the Endeavor Stent, which had more than two times the risk of repeat procedures.

• .decimal (Sanford, Florida) reported FDA clearance to release the software necessary for the delivery of Bolus Electron Conformal Therapy (Bolus ECT), an advanced form of patient-specific electron therapy. Treating with bolus ECT will be available to users of all three of the major treatment planning systems: CMS XiO, Varian Eclipse and Philips Pinnacle3. Bolus ECT can create favorable dose distributions for certain tumors of the chest wall, breast or head and neck, when a tumor volume has spread out near the patient surface and rendered other treatment problematic for a variety of reasons.