Experienced interventional radiologists to provide medical and technical advice to treatment users
OTTAWA, June 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Nordion Inc. (TSX: NDN) (NYSE: NDZ), a leading provider of products and services for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, today announced the launch of a new preceptor program to support doctors using TheraSphere®, the company's Yttrium-90 (Y-90) glass microsphere liver cancer treatment.
Matthew Johnson, MD, Professor of Radiology and Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, and Siddharth Padia, MD, Assistant Professor of Interventional Radiology at the University of Washington in Seattle, are both highly experienced TheraSphere® users, having between them administered more than 1,000 Y-90 radioembolization treatments. As preceptors, they will help guide and coach physicians at various stages of TheraSphere® clinical use.
"Nordion wants to help physicians develop a solid technical foundation for treating hepatocellular carcinoma with TheraSphere®," explained Mason Ross, MD, Nordion's VP of Medical Affairs. "This program is designed to assist doctors to make independent decisions with confidence about the use and administration of TheraSphere®. With the training programs at our Centers of Excellence in the US and Europe, our technical proctors and these new physician preceptors, Nordion now offers end-to-end training and support for physicians in the use of Therasphere®, whether it's their first dose or their 100th."
The preceptors will provide medical and technical advice to physicians using TheraSphere®. Their role includes:
- Advising peers on appropriate patient selection and screening
- Reviewing imaging scans of potential patients
- Providing guidance on treatment planning
- Reviewing dosimetry and dose selection considerations for specific patients
- Advising on treatment administration techniques
- Providing post-treatment guidance
"Because the availability of Y-90 therapy is relatively recent, it's critical for physicians to be able to leverage and share experience and best practices," said Dr. Johnson. "I'm pleased that Nordion has recognized this and is establishing this forum."
The preceptors will be available by email and are committed to providing timely responses to questions from physicians.
"We will be helping our peers troubleshoot in real time, perfect their skills and expand their knowledge," added Dr. Padia. "Learning is a continuous process and I believe everyone involved in these consultations will benefit from them."
TheraSphere® is a liver cancer therapy that consists of millions of small glass beads (20 to 30 micrometers in diameter) containing radioactive Y-90. The product is injected by physicians into the artery of the patient's liver through a catheter, which allows the treatment to be delivered directly to the tumour via blood flow.
In the US, TheraSphere® is used to treat patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who can have appropriately positioned hepatic arterial catheters, and can be used as a bridge to surgery or transplantation in these patients. It is also indicated for the treatment of HCC patients with partial or branch portal vein thrombosis or occlusion when clinical evaluation warrants the treatment. TheraSphere® is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under a Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE). HDE approvals are based on demonstrated safety and probable clinical benefit. However, effectiveness of the indication for use has not been established.
Common side effects include mild to moderate fatigue, pain and nausea for about a week. Physicians describe these symptoms as similar to those of the flu. Some patients experience some loss of appetite and temporary changes in several blood tests. For details on rare or more severe side effects, please refer to the TheraSphere® package insert/instructions for use at www.nordion.com/therasphere.
About Nordion Inc.
Nordion Inc. (TSX: NDN) (NYSE: NDZ) is a global health science company that provides market-leading products used for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are a leading provider of medical isotopes, targeted therapies and sterilization technologies that benefit the lives of millions of people in more than 60 countries around the world. Our products are used daily by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories. Nordion has more than 500 highly skilled employees in three locations. Find out more at www.nordion.com and follow us at http://twitter.com/NordionInc.
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