A Diagnostics & Imaging Week

RaySearch Laboratories (Stockholm) and Nucletron (Veenendaal, the Netherlands) reported initiating a new collaborative effort for the treatment planning of proton radiation therapy of cancer.

The companies entered into a long-term development and license agreement that will result in a system for treatment planning and optimization of radiation therapy with protons.

The new system, which is being built by RaySearch, will be integrated in Nucletron's treatment planning system Oncentra MasterPlan.

"We are now moving into the field of treatment planning for proton therapy, a step that is in line with RaySearch's business idea to provide innovative software for more effective radiation therapy. This advanced application fits well with our expertise profile and will contribute to a broadening of the ORBIT platform with ground-breaking functionality," says Johan L f president/CEO of RaySearch.

L f said, "Nucletron is contributing the background knowledge within the physics of protons, which is extremely valuable. The demand for new treatment planning products for protons is increasing rapidly. Among other indications, this was confirmed at the PTCOG [particle therapy co-operative group] proton conference . . . in the U.S. in October in which RaySearch participated and demonstrated a prototype. Several new clinics for proton therapy are being planned and RaySearch where Nucletron will participate in the tender process."

He said that proton radiation therapy has potentially even better clinical properties than intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), based on photon radiation. Conventional radiation therapy is normally delivered with photons, which are generated by accelerating electrons. Protons are considerably heavier particles than electrons and therefore large installations are needed for acceleration of theses particles. Proton therapy requires extremely expensive equipment and highly sophisticated software.

Nucletron develops products for cancer treatment, with expertise in brachytherapy, treatment planning systems, information processing and simulation. The company has more than 20 offices worldwide.

RaySearch develops software for radiation therapy of cancer designed to optimize radiation therapy with the aim of adapting the radiation dose to the contour of the tumor, which then allows high doses to be delivered to the tumor while minimizing the dose to surrounding healthy tissue. RaySearch is a year 2000 spin-off from Karolinska Institutet.

Mixonix reports a 'first' in Hungary

Misonix (Farmingdale, New York), a developer of ultrasonic medical technology for the treatment of cancer and other chronic conditions, said it is the first company to participate in a High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) procedure in Hungary using the Sonablate 500 for the treatment of prostate cancer.

The SOTE Urological Clinic at the University Hospital of Budapest, with Professor Imre Romics has been the first to perform HIFU.

Romics said, "We are excited to be the first to introduce minimally invasive, Visually Directed HIFU to the prostate cancer patients of Hungary. We are encouraged with the reported low morbidity and high curative rates throughout Europe, and hope to mirror those results with our patients".

"We are pleased to see the continued acceptance of the Visually Directed HIFU as the leader in the successful treatment of prostate cancer," said Michael McManus Jr., president/CEO of Misonix.

Misonix makes medical, scientific, and industrial ultrasonic equipment, laboratory safety equipment, and air pollution control products. Misonix has a minority equity position in Focus Surgery, which uses HIFU technology to destroy deep-seated cancerous tissues without affecting surrounding healthy tissue. Addressing a combined market estimated to be in excess of $3 billion annually, Misonix's ultrasonic medical devices are used for wound debridement, cosmetic surgery, neurosurgery, laparoscopic surgery, and other surgical and medical applications.