Isoray - Innovative Brachytherapy

ABS 2018 Insights: Science, Improving Your Practice, Social Time & Thanks

With the 2018 edition of the American Brachytherapy Annual Meeting in the books, it is fitting to take a few minutes and highlight our top ABS 2018 Insights.

The clinical experience with Cesium-131 continues to build:

  • Dr. Manuj Agarwal of the University of Maryland presented his results from a long term follow-up of Cesium-131. He reported 8-yr progression-free survival of nearly 97%, with a favorable toxicity profile and recovery time. When asked about the need for an additional treatment isotope, Dr. Agarwal responded, “I think piggybacking on some of the previous thoughts on quality of life data, acute morbidity is a real complication that does cause men quite some distress. If we have an isotope now that has a more favorable acute GU profile might be worth exploring.”
  • Dr. Shilpa Larkin of the University of Kentucky presented on the use of Cesium seed implants for recurrent, advanced (stage III-IV) gynecological cancers. She reported good initial local control with a reduced cost and favorable patient experience for these patents.

Brachytherapy and Stereotactic Radiation Techniques:

The debate continues about the relative roles of SBRT and brachytherapy for boost treatment of prostate cancer patients. In a debate moderated by Michael Zelefsky, existing body of literature was reviewed, and the discussants agreed that brachytherapy continues to provide a more highly conformal dose to support treatment.

The cost-advantage of brachytherapy treatments is real

Nikhil Thacker and Ben Durkee moderated a socio-economic session the reviewing the shifting landscape of brachytherapy utilization and reimbursement. During the session, Dr. Peter Orio highlighted the evolving nature of healthcare reimbursement and the growing importance of quality metrics and performance. The session also featured perspectives of payors and administrators. The key conclusion: brachytherapy continues to be a valuable option to curb healthcare costs, and the delivery of quality procedures will have a positive impact on practices.

Growing your brachytherapy practice

Thursday’s lunch symposium discussed the clinical and marketing perspectives around building a brachytherapy practice.

Top insights shared from Dr. Steve Kurtzman on improving relationships with urologists:

  • Bring the procedure to them (hospital/surgery center of their choice)
  • Deliver good treatment/get great results (disease control and minimal complications)
  • Earn their trust (be available and accountable)
  • [Execute] Efficient Procedures (critical)
  • Educate (ASCENDE-RT Trial, SpaceOAR, etc.)
  • Work collaboratively (clinically and financially)

From Paul Snyder, VP of Healthcare for Write2Market – creating a good flow of fresh content does not have to be difficult or time consuming.

  • 75% of traffic from search comes from page 1 rankings, 33% from ranking #1
  • 70% of internet users (90% of U.S. adults) look online for health information
  • Commit 1 hr / mo – routine sets you free
  • Provide “commentary” on news, new scientific data / content co-op (leverage PCRI, PCF, Radiology Today, StatNews, industry partners like Isoray, etc.)
    • 300 words including quoting the piece will get it done. Intro, your take + call to action
  • Make it consumable, educational, actionable
  • Dictate, transcribe, edit, post, share
  • Will you share what you learned here? We will.

If you are interested in working with us to generate a highly shareable story in a low-effort way, contact to get the ball rolling.

Is the brachy community ready to embrace SEO and social media?

While we appreciate the inherent value our content marketing activities bring to our clinician partners and the broader patient community, it is the channels through which we share them that give them greater voice. We have been using fresh, educational content to grow our own social channels over the past two years. We are pleased to share that more than 2,300 people visited our own website from our social channels in the past 12 months totalling more than 3,800 total sessions. Our new users from search thanks to our SEO program have increased 44% to more than 10,000 in the same period.

We are most pleased that Dr. Chirag Shah, Director of Breast Radiation Oncology for Cleveland Clinic is leading the ABS charge into social engagement. We appreciated the expertise he shared, alongside Dr. Drew Moghanaki and Dr. Brett Cox, regarding the value of social media, a few best practices and the ability for social media to connect clinicians and the patient community as well. We look forward to working with Dr. Shah to engage a broader audience in our own clinician and patient communication and education efforts.

Thanks to our interviewees & stay tuned

We would like to thank ABS for its partnership in helping build further awareness for the value brachytherapy brings to the health care community through video interviews with the following clinicians at ABS 2018: Dr. Brett Cox, Dr. Alex Hsi, Dr. Steve Kurtzman, Dr. Brian Moran, Dr. Atef Omari, Dr. Peter Orio, Dr. Bradley Prestidge, Dr. Mark Rivard and Dr. John Sylvester. Thanks to all who participated. Stay tuned as we work through the editing process, publish and share them with the community.

We at Isoray are excited to be part of the team leading the way to a resurgence in utility and positive patient outcomes of this value-based therapy. We hope you found our ABS 2018 insights of value. Stay tuned for more new original content including clinician and patient stories. We look forward to working with you all along the way.


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