BSD Medical is Now Pyrexar Medical

The complete line of BSD Hyperthermia products are availble thru Pyrexar Medical

The technology used in capacitive hyperthermia has changed very little since its invention in 1916, and its future is in question.  The advent of computerized controls and motorized applicator arm has done little to change the way energy flows between electrodes, nor has it improved treatment outcomes.  The replacement of wet cotton rags, for current connection, with a water bolus is probably the only real advancement forward of this aging technology.  Issues like the inability to steer or shape the heating zone, the inability to increase focus or accuracy, may never be solved.

Toasters

Q: What are three things Capacitive Hyperthermia and the Pop-up Toaster have in common? (answer at the bottom)

The future of hyperthermia is in Phased Array Radio Frequency. Phased Array RF is a superior heating method, according to a recent study “A comparison of the heating characteristics of capacitive and radiative superficial hyperthermia” by Kok and Crezee. The ability to focus, steer and size the heating zone, monitor and maintain zone temperature, use numerical modeling for treatment planning, is all part of this advancing technology. There is a reason that there are so few positive phase III studies using capacitive systems, the heating method is difficult to quantify. The introduction of non-invasive thermometry using MRI has created a new interest in hyperthermia. These advancements are giving researchers new tools and clinicians more resources to help cancer patients.  The chances for a positive cancer outcome is simply getting better.

Capacitive Heating has several flaws.

  1. Fat layer power absorption.
    Capacitive heating applies 10 times more power per cubic centimeter in surface fat than in tissues below the fat layer, such as tumors. This leads to significant patient discomfort and pain during treatments. The power absorbed within a 1 cm surface fat layer is equivalent the same power distributed over the next 10 cm of tissue. If you administered 200 watts of power, 100 watts would be stuck in the fat layer generating a hot spot, the remainder of the energy ( only 10 watts per cm) is spread over the next 10 cm in depth. Certainly not enough energy to heat a tumor. How many of your patients have more than 1 cm fat layer? Check out the world obesity figures.

  2. Field Shape.
    It is very difficult to create an accurate treatment plan when you can not control field shape. Capacitive RF heating fields diverge as they penetrate in the body unless the high water content pathways are constrained by low water tissues such as bone structures of the pelvis. The only control of the shape of the heating pattern is by the placement and sizes of the electrodes used.

  3. No Future as an Image Guided Therapy.
    Although temperature sensors are available as an option (although rarely used) on capacitive hyperthermia systems, there is no ability to respond to the distribution of heating during a treatment.  The operator can change the amplitude of the RF power and the temperature of the electrode cooling bolus. This limits the possible benefit of invasive or non-invasive thermometry methods. Although one could build a system that would fit inside an MRI, the operator would only be able to turn the power up or down. There would be no ability to guide the treatment zone to the target area. It would be like driving a car that only had an accelerator, but no steering wheel.

  4. Is your product Hyperthermia? 
    In the U.S. the term "bait and switch" refers to companies that attract you with features and benefits of one product only to try to sell you an inferior product when you arrive. One manufacturer of capacitive systems does such a poor job delivering a thermal dose that they must “bait” the customer with well-known hyperthermia studies only to “switch” technologies with unproven claims that fractal frequency kills cancer cells. 30 years of hyperthermia research, 17 phase III clinical studies and hundreds of peer-reviewed clinical studies agree the active effects are due to temperature, not frequency modulation.

When presenting Pyrexar technology to a customer, you are offering a future.

  • Statement: Phased Array Radio Frequency systems are generally more expensive. Reason: The axiom "you get what you pay for" plays well here. You are paying for superior equipment proven by years of published data and tens of thousands of patient treatments.

  • Statement: Phased Array Radio Frequency systems require more training to treat patients.  Reason: We wish it could be a push of a button like a chest X-ray, but effective results require proper treatment planning and simulation, similar to a Linear Accelerator, for vastly superior patient outcomes.

  • Statement: Phased Array Radio Frequency has a future. Reason: Continuing research and the advancement of software, a simple update can make your existing system work better and better.

  • Question:  If you or your loved one was diagnosed with cancer, which technology would you choose? Maybe good enough, or the proven best.

The answer to the Quiz Question: They were both invented 100 years ago, the technology has advanced little in 100 years, and Capacitive Hyperthermia technology nowhere to go.

 


SLC Site Visit from South Korea

Pyrexar welcomed Dr. Joon Kim, Chief of the Medical Clinic at Oasis Medical Care Hospital for a site visit in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Dr. Kim specializes in treating cancer with hyperthermia. Accompanying the doctor was Pyrexar's South Korea distributors, Harris Maeng of Hanbeam Technologies and Michael Cha, CEO of Ivy-Lab. The group observed Dr. Hayes perform brachytherapy and hyperthermia on a recurrent ovarian tumor patient at the St. Mark's location of Gamma West Cancer Services.  There is a lot of positive and innovative outcomes both in patient recovery and reimbursement which I will discuss in a future post.

hanbeam ivy labHarris Maeng (Hanbeam), Dr. Joon Kim (Oasis), Mark Falkowski (Pyrexar), Michael Cha (Ivy Lab), Drew Wilkens (Pyrexar)

ASTRO 2017 Trade Show in San Diego

An extremely busy three days in San Diego for the 59th Annual American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology Meeting. Attendance was approximately 11,000 and we had a great response at the booth. The president of Dalian Orientech (Pyrexar’s Mainland China distributor), Mrs. Shuzhi Wang, brought a large contingent of physicians for an in-booth presentation of the newly updated BSD-2000/3D/MR. In addition, Dr. Zeljko Vujaskovic shared a presentation on the clinical benefits of hyperthermia in the treatment of cancer and how the University of Maryland School of Medicine has integrated thermal oncology in their practice. Other visitors included South Korea distributors, Hanbeam Technologies along with their newest marketing and sales partner Ivy-Lab, Finggal Link from Japan and Sennewald Medizintechnik representing Europe and Russia. The star of the show, as always, was "Virtual CTO" Paul Turner. Not only was he available on the show floor to share his vast knowledge in his autonomous robot form, he was also available for selfies.

ASTRO2017 booth setup orientech at astro2017 paul

JCA - Japan Cancer Association

This year the BSD-500 returned to Japan. Hyperthermia has been a well-accepted therapy in Japan for the last three decades. From 1984-1992, eighteen BSD-500’s were shipped to the island nation. Soon after, the Japanese Government funded the development of their own Capacitive Hyperthermia system the Thermotron RF. After a brief unveiling at the Japan Cancer Association Conference in Yokohama, and with the help of Dr. Taro Sirakawa of Tough Idenshi Meneki Clinic, the BSD-500 will now be available to treat patients once again.

japan jca 2017Masaaki Inoue (CEO-Advance Medical), Tetsuya Furukawa, (Director-Finggal Link), Mark Falkowski (CEO-Pyrexar Medical), Hirofumi Sakamoto (Technician- Advance Medical)

Correction - Taiwan

In our last blog Taiwan Partners and Water, we introduced you to AMES Medical from Taiwan. The group was inadvertently labeled as representing South Korea. Our apologies to Stephen, Johnson and Andy for the mistake.

ames group photoAmes Medical Team - Andy Hsu, Johnson Chen, Mark Falkowski (Pyrexar), Steven Shih

 


We had two visits last week, one friendly and one not so friendly.

The very friendly visitor was from Ames Medical, our newest sales and marketing group in Taiwan. Steven, Johnson, and Andy spent the week with us for sales and technical training on the Pyrexar product line. They have some excellent ideas on how to penetrate the Taiwan market and have put together a well thought out strategic sales plan.

ames group photoAndy Hsu, Johnson Chen, Mark Falkowski, Steven Shih


During the visit, Steven wanted to see what it felt like to be a patient in the BSD-2000, so we put him on the patient sling inside both the Sigma 60 and Sigma Ellipse applicator and filled the bolus with water. (we left the power off). He remarked that being surrounded by the bolus was both comfortable and comforting. He mentioned cancer patients in Taiwan were afraid to move around while receiving hyperthermia treatment. We hypothesize that may be a belief left over from the importance of not moving during radiotherapy.  We assured him that the heat zone on the BSD-2000 was large enough that casual movement would not affect therapeutic outcomes.

steven ames sigma60

On Friday, as we were about to send our visitors home, a water main under the building a few doors down broke. What started as a puddle, turned into a torrent and headed to our building. It was all hands on deck, including the Ames Team. We all grabbed brooms and created makeshift water dams and attempted to push the water out as fast as it came in. We managed to quickly get everything off the floor. After 2 hours, the fire department turned off the water and we started to put everything back together. We appreciate the help from our new sales partners, along with the enthusiasm they bring to hyperthermia and the treatment of cancer.

REMINDER:  We will be exhibiting at ASTRO 2017 in San Diego starting this Sunday.  Look for us at booth #646

 


We are pleased to invite you to the International Scientific Conference of the Polish Society for Hyperthermic Oncology (PTHO). The theme for this year's congress is "The Place for Hyperthermia in Polish Medicine".  Poland has been a long time supporter of hyperthermia.  There are currently six Pyrexar BSD-500 Superficial Systems, a BSD-2000 Deep Regional System, and an early model BSD-300 in Poland (We have been there for a long time).  [see map]

PTHO graphic

This year the PTHO invited more than 20 speakers, prominent scientists, experts in hyperthermia, from many different countries. Besides polish speakers, you will have the opportunity to hear the lectures of guests from the USA, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, and China. The main topic of the Conference will cover hyperthermia trends in the treatment of cancer. The conference goal is to present the standard procedures of combining hyperthermia with radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other systemic treatments. One of the sessions will be dedicated to the biology of fever and to the immunological effects of hyperthermia. 

The conference will be held on October 20-21st, 2017 in Piekary Slaskie, Poland at the beautiful, and award winning, Hotel Rezydencja Luxury.

poland hotel

Who should go? If you are a thermal oncologist or someone looking to understand how hyperthermia can be used as part of a comprehensive cancer treatment program, this conference touches on all of the topics. Pyrexar will have on display its new BSD-2000 3D/MR applicator which features live 3D non-invasive temperature mapping utilizing MRI guidance for accurate heat placement. A complete program is available on the PTHO website (www.konferencja2017.ptho.pl/programme)

Representing Pyrexar at the event will be CEO, Mark Falkowski and our local distributor Darius Dros and his team from HT Systems.  Conference Admission and Hotel prices are extremely affordable, especially for the caliber of speakers and international contacts you will meet. Register before September 19th and save 25%. Registration and information available on the PTHO website.