• Accuray (Sunnyvale, California) has introduced what it says is the industry's first solution that combines the power of robotic radiosurgery with either 3-D or 4-D diagnostic quality CT scanning in the treatment room. With advanced imaging technology, clinicians can visualize the exact location of the tumor and its surrounding critical structures, immediately prior to treatment, to ensure the radiosurgery procedure delivers the treatment as planned, the company said. The Accuray CyberKnife radiosurgery solution offers the option of incorporating a Siemens Somatom CT system, enabling what Accuray said is "faster, dynamic, higher-resolution, diagnostic-quality imaging in the treatment room." The combination of the CT scanner with the CyberKnife System is made possible by the recent release of the RoboCouch Patient Positioning System.

• Conceptus (Mountain View, California), developer of the Essure procedure, the only FDA-approved, non-incisional perma nent birth control method, said new independent study data released at the 35th annual meeting of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL) shows the Essure system eliminates risks associated with traditional surgical sterilization for many women not eligible for permanent birth control. The procedure does not require any incisions and can be done in a physician's office under local anesthesia. Mark Sieczkarek, president and CEO of Conceptus, said, "The studies presented at this year's AAGL — each of which is a first-of-its-kind undertaking — are further proof of the safety and efficacy of the Essure procedure for all patients, particularly those where a tubal ligation is either contraindicated or where the surgical risks are high." One study showed successful placement of the device among women withhistorical risk factors that could affect tubal cannulation. More than 92% of women in the study successfully had the Essure device placed. A second study suggests the Essure procedure can be performed on obese women in an office setting with excellent success rates. In this study of women with an average body mass index of 36.2, nearly all had a positive experience with the procedure. In the obese group, successful placement of the device was achieved in 74 of 81 (91%) obese women, compared with 101 of 110%) women in the non-obese group. A third study documented 19 women with heart disease, all of whom had successful placement of the Essure device with no intra-procedural complications.

• MGI Pharma (Baltimore), a biopharmaceutical company focused in oncology and acute care, summarized interim results from a Phase II combination study of Gliadel Wafer in patients with newly diagnosed, resectable, high-grade malignant gliomas, presented at the Society for Neuro-Oncology annual meeting. Interim data from 35 patients with this aggressive brain tumor showed a median survival of 18.6 months when Gliadel Wafer and temozolomide are used in combination with surgery and radiotherapy. The multi-center trial began in July 2003 and is planned to enroll a total of 40 patients. As of Sept. 29, 35 patients had been enrolled at three centers.

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