May 13, 2008

Study Says New Radiation Therapy Technology for Breast Cancer Helps Protect Tissue, Adds Options for Patients

SAN DIEGO — New research conducted at Moores Cancer Center at University of California, San Diego shows that the SAVI® breast brachytherapy applicator, a new approach for delivering accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI), may provide better protection of healthy tissue than other partial breast irradiation methods

The research team, led by Catheryn Yashar, M.D., assistant professor and chief of breast and gynecological services in the UC San Diego Department of Radiation Oncology, presented study results at the recent 2008 World Congress of Brachytherapy.

Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego is one of the first medical facilities in the nation to offer SAVI.

The UC San Diego team reported that the SAVI applicator provided better protection of skin, lung, and chest wall/rib tissue than two earlier methods of radiation treatment. That advantage makes SAVI a viable treatment option for patients whose anatomy or surgical cavity location may prevent them from being treated by the other methods, according to the scientific poster presentation of the study.

The study of nine patients, titled “Dosimetric Comparison of Three Methods of Partial Breast Irradiation,” compared SAVI to a widely used balloon brachytherapy applicator and three-dimensional conformal external beam radiation (3DCF).

“As this study shows, the ability of the newer device to conform more closely to the surgical cavity provides some important advantages,” said Yashar. “Small-breasted women and those whose surgical cavity is close to critical structures, such as the skin or chest wall, should now be able to benefit from accelerated partial breast irradiation because of this technology.”

While APBI has produced excellent preliminary results no matter which method is used, some methods have presented problems with certain patients, the researchers noted. SAVI was designed to minimize some of the constraints imposed by other approaches.

SAVI is a single-entry, multi-catheter device that delivers radiation as part of breast conservation therapy. By more precisely targeting radiation therapy, SAVI treats the tissue where the cancer is most likely to recur, while minimizing the exposure of healthy tissue such as the skin, heart, lungs and ribs.

“SAVI is easy to place, as are other single-entry brachytherapy devices,” said Yashar. “Its real advance is its ability to cover the target area while minimizing radiation exposure of non-target tissue.”

Each of SAVI’s multiple catheters can be differentially loaded to conform the radiation dose to a patient’s specific anatomy. SAVI is the only APBI applicator that can contour the radiation dose to the size and shape of the cavity bed. Without the technical limitations of balloon brachytherapy, SAVI substantially increases the number of women who qualify for the benefits of APBI.

The SAVI applicator is made by Cianna Medical, Inc., a women’s health company dedicated to the innovative treatment of early-stage breast cancer.

The World Congress of Brachytherapy, held May 4-6 in Boston, was co-sponsored by the American Brachytherapy Society.

About Cianna Medical, Inc.
Cianna Medical, Inc. is a medical device company focused on women’s health and dedicated to the innovative treatment of early-stage breast cancer. The company manufactures and markets the SAVI breast brachytherapy applicator, for the delivery of radiation after lumpectomy surgery. The SAVI applicator allows contouring of the radiation dose, and is designed to make the benefits of accelerated partial breast irradiation available to a greater number of women. For more information about the company, call (toll-free) 866-920-9444 or visit www.CiannaMedical.com.

About Moores UCSD Cancer Center
The Moores Cancer Center is located at the University of California, San Diego. Founded in 1979, the Center is one of just 39 centers in the United States to hold a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. As such, it ranks among the top centers in the nation conducting basic and clinical cancer research, providing advanced patient care and serving the community through outreach and education programs. For more information, access http://cancer.ucsd.edu/.

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