The Beginnings of a Brachytherapy Renaissance? Isoray’s 2017 Year In Review

Dec 20, 2017

Will 2017 be remembered as the beginning of a brachytherapy renaissance? While much remains to be done in clinician education and patient advocacy, newly published data and patient engagement were high points for the Isoray team.

A trove of new evidence demonstrates brachytherapy’s efficacy and value

The Isoray team had been anticipating the publication of new research we believed would shine a bright light on brachytherapy’s efficacy and value. The anticipation ended earlier this year with new ASCO recommendations, the publication of the ASCENDE-RT and 5 year post treatment data for prostate cancer patients treated with Cesium-131 brachytherapy.

ASCENDE-RT: An Analysis of Treatment-Related Morbidity for a Randomized Trial Comparing a Low-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy Boost with a Dose-Escalated External Beam Boost for High- and Intermediate-Risk Prostate Cancer

    • In a randomized trial, an Iodine-125 LDR(Low dose rate) boost was much more effective than an EBRT (external beam radiation therapy) boost in rendering unfavorable-risk prostate cancer patients biochemically disease free.
    • Simply Put: For prostate cancer patients with aggressive disease (high-risk), combining external beam radiation therapy and seed implant (brachytherapy) significantly improves survival rates.

ASCO Recommendation for Brachytherapy Boost in High Risk Localized PCa

    • For patients with high-risk prostate cancer receiving EBRT and androgen-deprivation therapy, brachytherapy boost (LDR or HDR) should be offered to eligible patients.
    • Simply Put: Eligible patients with aggressive prostate cancer should be offered a combined treatment plan that includes hormone drug therapy (ADT), external beam radiation therapy and seed implant (brachytherapy).  

Long-term Quality of Life in Prostate Cancer Patients Treated with Cesium-131

  • Cs-131 leads to quicker recovery of voiding function, with return to clinical baseline by 3 months and statistical baseline by 6 months post-treatment.  And at a median last follow-up of 5.5 years post-treatment with Cs-131 prostate brachytherapy, there were no clinically significant changes in the EPIC or AUA scores from baseline.
    • These findings suggest that patients treated with this isotope (Cs-131) are able to recover and then maintain their baseline quality of life in the long term.
    • Simply Put: Patients treated specifically with Cesium-131 seed implant (brachytherapy) return to their normal state of urinary voiding faster in the long run.

We have been a bit surprised how many urologists are still not aware of these new data points. Our team, investors, advocate partners, clinical users and prospects can be assured that our efforts to disseminate this information and educate all concerned about Cesium-131 brachytherapy’s benefits to cancer patients and the physicians that treat them will accelerate in 2018.

Patient advocacy

It is essential, through whatever vehicle available, that men with rising PSA levels or those newly diagnosed with prostate cancer should be made aware of all of their treatment options. We also believe one of the most effective ways to make that happen is to engage survivors committed to prostate cancer support groups and ask them to tell their stories.

We are beyond grateful to Dr. Brian Moran for helping coordinate, and participate in, our video series with prostate cancer survivors John Aguzino and his daughter Celeste, Carl Janssens, Norm Long and Dave Ricorati. From (No) Incontinence After Brachytherapy, to Sex After Brachytherapy, to Doing Your Homework and more, please take a few minutes to watch these survivors’ share their Chicago Prostate Center brachytherapy experiences via our blog.

What’s ahead in 2018

While building upon the newly available data in order to improve prostate cancer treatment outcomes with Cesium-131 brachytherapy, in 2018 we will continue to support the oncologists breaking new ground with brachytherapy in gynecologic cancer and brain cancer.

“I would say that if you have been given no hope, or a recurrence where they are unable to do external beam radiation, this procedure is wonderful. I am still here and I am able to enjoy life again.” – Annette O.

Related: WKYT: “Lexington cancer doctor saving women’s lives”

As mentioned, we will be putting a full court press on the physician community to ensure they are aware of the latest science and research on brachytherapy as well as Cesium-131’s benefits for their patients and their practices. Right out of the gate that starts at the International Prostate Cancer Update in January.

If you are a clinician interested in learning more, contact customerservice@isoray.com

If you or a loved one has been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer and would like to learn more about all of your available treatment options including Cesium-131 brachytherapy by Isoray, please contact patienteducation@isoray.com.

Investor Relations:

Mark Levin

Global IR Group
(501) 255-1910

Media and Public Relations:

Sharon Schultz 

(302) 539-3747