PALO ALTO, Calif., May 24, 2004 Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) and Proxima Therapeutics, Inc. today announced a European distribution agreement, whereby Varian will make available to health care providers in Europe Proxima’s MammoSite device for treating breast cancer with localized high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy. The agreement is expected to facilitate European patients’ access to accelerated partial breast brachytherapy for the treatment of early stage breast cancer.
Under the agreement, which supplements Proxima’s existing European distribution agreements, the MammoSite device will be made available to European cancer treatment centers through Varian Medical Systems distribution channels.
William D. Hyatt, General Manager of Varian Medical Systems’ BrachyTherapy business, says, “This type of partial breast irradiation is becoming an increasingly common method of treatment in the US. We have teamed up with Proxima to bring the benefits of MammoSite technology to European patients.Varian has an unrivalled infrastructure of global sales, service and manufacturing, and is ideally placed to offer this solution to European clinics and hospitals that cannot currently access it. The MammoSite technology is an excellent fit with our business.”
“This agreement provides cancer centres across the whole of Europe with reliable access to the technology they require to offer patients accelerated partial breast brachytherapy for state-of-the-art breast cancer treatments,” added Timothy J. Patrick, president and CEO of Proxima
Therapeutics. “We are pleased to be able to use Varian’s international strengths to speed the growth of our business into international
Accelerated Partial Breast Brachytherapy Accelerated partial breast brachytherapy following lumpectomy delivers a full course of radiation treatment over a period of five days. The technique is used to deliver radiation directly to the tissue immediately surrounding a removed tumour, where cancer is most likely to recur, while minimising the exposure of healthy tissues.Doctors can insert Proxima’s MammoSite balloon catheter into the cavity that is left when a tumour has been surgically removed.A computer-controlled high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy afterloader, such as Varian's VariSource or GammaMed afterloaders, can then be used to transfer a tiny radioactive source into the balloon catheter.This is done twice daily for five days.
Available for about two years in the U.S., Proxima’s MammoSite device has been used to treat more than 4000 women at more than 300 U.S. cancer treatment centres and it is already available in many European countries. MammoSite is one of several techniques – along with traditional HDR brachytherapy, whole breast external beam radiation and Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) that Varian supports for delivering post-lumpectomy radiation.
MammoSite is a registered trademark of Proxima Therapeutics. GammaMed
and VariSource are trademarks of Varian Medical Systems.