A Medical Device Daily

The Swiss Heart Foundation (Berne, Switzerland), a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting cardiovascular research and promoting cardiovascular health, featured Cholestech 's (Hayward, California) LDX System, a cholesterol monitoring tool, during heart health screenings last month.

Some 14,000 people were screened in 32 cities around Switzerland as part of the organization's "Meeting of the Heart" program.

On Valentine's Day, the foundation submitted its report on Swiss cardiac health to Pascal Couchepin, member of the Federal Council and head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs.

The "Meeting of the Heart" program is the largest cardiac health study of its kind in Switzerland. The ongoing program is designed to educate the general population about cardiovascular risks and the means to avoid cardiovascular events by adopting healthier lifestyles.

The program includes health seminars that explain basic medical principles behind heart health and ideas on how to adopt a healthier lifestyle. The program also featured the Cardiomobile, which from November 2004 to November 2005 traveled to 32 Swiss cities and provided heart health screenings to more than 14,000 people. Participants were offered glucose and cholesterol screenings, as well as blood pressure and body mass assessments.

Results of the "Meeting of the Heart" program demonstrated that 10,000 out of 14,000 participants have at least one cardiac risk factor, the most prominent factors include abnormally high lipids (cholesterol), excessive weight and hypertension.

Professor Felix Gutzwiller, national adviser and director of the Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine (Zurich), said that of particular concern was the fact that between 30% and 50% of those screened had multiple risk factors. To combat such risk, Couchepin and Gutzwiller urged all Swiss residents over the age of 40 to monitor their blood pressure and cholesterol levels annually.

The cholesterol screening during Cardiomobile screening events was conducted using the Cholestech LDX System, which generates what the company terms "comprehensive, lab-accurate results" in minutes. Using a simple finger-stick, the system measures cholesterol, glucose and liver enzymes, and high sensitivity C-reactive protein.

"This enhances the ability to quickly identify patients with risk factors for heart disease, enabling physicians to focus on getting patients on the right treatment sooner and making sure they stay on the right therapeutic mix," Cholestech said.

Warren Pinckert II, president and CEO, said the choice of the LDX System for use in the program "validates our ability to offer the highest-quality point-of-care diagnostic tools that can generate lab-accurate results in minutes."

The Cholestech LDX System carries the CE mark for marketing of medical devices in the European Union. The Meeting of the Heart program was implemented and supported locally by DiaMedic , Cholestech's distribution partner in Switzerland.

CTLM study results due at radiology congress

Imaging Diagnostic Systems (Fort Lauderdale) said that clinical results from six studies relating to its CT Laser Mammography (CTLM) system will be presented during the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) in Vienna, Austria, which runs today through next Tuesday.

The company also is exhibiting at the congress, providing what it termed "many insights" into applications for cancer detection, cancer staging and following the course of cancer treatments.

The company said the presentations of clinical results "reflect worldwide clinical and academic interest in a multidisciplinary approach that could improve the accuracy of conventional imaging methods." It said that molecular imaging approaches such as MRI and nuclear medicine are being used more frequently for breast imaging, and that the presentations in Vienna "demonstrate the clinical recognition that CTLM is gaining."

The studies address the use of CTLM in multidisciplinary breast cancer case assessments and methods to aid interpretation. The ability of CTLM to follow response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients also was investigated.

"The presentation of clinical research from leading medical centers and researchers reinforces CTLM's role in managing breast cancer," said Deborah O'Brien, senior vice president of Imaging Diagnostic Systems. "With the increasing interest in optical imaging and the number of publications and presented results, recognition of our laser breast imaging technology's current and future applications is clearly growing."

ECR is one of Europe's largest radiological meetings, attracting nearly 15,000 attendees from 90 countries.

UK hospital extends Oncura contract

Oncura (Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania), whose focus is on minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment, reported that the Cookridge Hospital (Leeds, UK) has continued its relationship with the company by awarding a contract for the provision of seeds used by the hospital's prostate brachytherapy program to Oncura until 2008.

Part of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust , Cookridge Hospital has treated more than 1,500 prostate cancer patients since 1995 and is one of the world's leading centres for this method of treating localized prostate cancer.

"We are delighted to continue our long relationship with Cookridge Hospital," said Elizabeth Usher, vice president and general manager of Oncura's International business. "We are pleased that the work that began with Cookridge many years ago is gaining momentum, and are especially pleased with the recent positive NICE [National Institute of Clinical Excellence] guidance and DOH [Department of Health] recommendations on LDR brachytherapy."

"It was important that our seed supplier was able to offer a high-quality and reliable stranded product, as well as a full range of support services, so that our brachytherapy implant program is able to grow and flourish at the forefront of this technology," said Dr. Dan Ash of Cookridge Hospital. "Our data continues to support the long-term effectiveness of this therapy."

Oncura was created through the merger of Amersham 's (now GE Healthcare ) brachytherapy business and Galil Medical Ltd. 's urology business. Its International business is operated from its UK subsidiary.

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