PALO ALTO, Ca. and ALPHARETTA, Ga. July 7,2004 Varian Medical Systems, Inc.(NYSE:VAR) and Proxima Therapeutics, Inc. today announced an alliance to increase access to High-Dose-Rate (HDR) radiation therapy equipment for hospitals interested in offering partial breast irradiation to patients with early-stage breast cancer. Under the terms of the agreement, Proxima will become the exclusive third-party representative for Varian’s recently FDA-cleared MammoSource™ HDR brachytherapy afterloader, developed specifically to work with Proxima’s MammoSite® device for treating breast cancer with localized HDR brachytherapy. Varian’s MammoSource afterloader will be made available to treatment centers on a fee-for-use basis, subject to minimums.
It has been shown that radiation following surgical removal of the cancer from the breast significantly reduces recurrence.This radiation can be delivered by external beam to the entire breast, external beam to a portion of the breast, or radioactive sources placed temporarily near the tumor site.A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (August 2003) demonstrated that after five years, certain selected patients treated with partial breast irradiation demonstrated a local recurrence rate that was similar to that of patients treated with whole breast radiation.
“The novel fee-for-use arrangement we are offering in conjunction with Proxima responds to the needs of cancer centers that are seeking a cost-effective solution for offering partial breast irradiation following lumpectomy,” said William Hyatt, general manager of Varian's BrachyTherapy business. “In addition, the MammoSource system is specifically designed to reduce the capital cost barriers often faced by hospitals wishing to offer patients access to this accelerated, five-day radiation therapy.”
The MammoSource afterloader is more affordable than traditional HDR afterloaders, which incorporate up to 24 channels for delivering more complex forms of brachytherapy. Varian developed the MammoSource HDR afterloader to deliver radiation through a single channel, consistent with MammoSite’s single balloon catheter design. MammoSource is powered by Varian’s BrachyVision™ software, a state-of-the-art HDR brachytherapy treatment planning system.
“This agreement with Varian, the world's leading radiation therapy systems provider, allows hospitals interested in offering partial breast irradiation unprecedented access to the HDR equipment,” said Timothy J.
Patrick, president and CEO of Proxima Therapeutics. “The MammoSource design is based on Varian’s proven technology, supplemented by a state-of-the-art treatment planning system and an established customer service support infrastructure.”
# # #