New Hope for Prostate Cancer Patients Who Have Failed Radiation Therapy

Medicare Coverage Of SeedNet(TM) Technology Is Effective April 1st



Apr 02, 2001, 01:00 ET from Galil Medical USA

    WOBURN, Mass., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- An innovative technology is
 offering men whose prostate cancer recurs after radiation therapy new hope as
 Medicare coverage of this procedure went into effect Sunday. SeedNet(TM), a
 freezing technique used to destroy the diseased prostate gland without
 damaging the surrounding healthy tissue, is the only option to improve
 long-term survival in men who experience a recurrence of the disease.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010402/NEM010 )
     "The SeedNet(TM) technology is an advance in the evolution of prostate
 cancer treatments," says Jeffrey K. Cohen, MD, director of the Division of
 Urology at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.  "The system gives the
 physician much greater control in destroying the diseased gland with less risk
 and pain to the patient." The SeedNet(TM) cryosurgery technology is marketed
 in the U.S. by Galil Medical USA.
     Prostate cancer is the second leading cancer killer of men in the United
 States.  Each year, 40 percent of the 180,000 men diagnosed with prostate
 cancer undergo radiation therapy.  In nearly 22,000 men, radiation fails and
 the cancer returns.
 
     SeedNet(TM) Technology
     The SeedNet(TM) technology uses 12 tiny needles that are inserted through
 a template into the prostate gland, directly through the skin of the perineum,
 avoiding the use of cumbersome insertion kits.  The needles use supercold
 argon gas to generate patented IceSeeds(TM) that combine to form a precisely
 contoured iceball to freeze the diseased tissue and destroy the gland without
 harming the surrounding healthy tissue.  The physician watches the placement
 of the needles and the freezing process through transrectal ultrasound imaging
 technology.  The unique procedure evenly distributes the cancer-killing
 "seeds" safely and effectively with minimal invasiveness, making it the best
 treatment option for patients who cannot or prefer not to undergo radical
 prostatectomy (surgery to remove the prostate.)
     Unlike surgical removal of the prostate, which requires a two to three day
 hospital stay, the SeedNet(TM) system allows the patient to return home the
 same day. The procedure is performed in a hospital under anesthesia.  Recovery
 time is quick and the patient is able to resume normal activities soon after
 the procedure.  There is little risk of incontinence or fistulas developing,
 though as with other prostate treatments, there is the risk of impotence, but
 figures for cryosurgery are not yet conclusive.  The patient returns to the
 doctor for a PSA reading after three months and is then screened on a biannual
 basis.  "PSA responses have been superb for patients who have gone through the
 SeedNet(TM) procedure," says Dr. Cohen.
     The SeedNet(TM) system is based on technology developed by the Israeli
 military to cool the infrared devices that guide missiles.  The proprietary
 device uses the brachytherapy insertion template, which is already commonly
 used by urologists for treating prostate cancer with radiation.
     The SeedNet(TM) system was approved by the FDA in October 2000.  The
 Health Care Finance Administration (HCFA) in 1999 endorsed cryosurgery as a
 valid, enduring method for treating men with prostate cancer.  In December
 2000, HCFA approved cryosurgery for Medicare coverage as the sole reimbursed
 salvage treatment for men with prostate cancer who had failed radiation
 therapy.
 
     Prostate Cancer
     The prostate is a walnut-sized, muscular gland that surrounds part of the
 urethra. As part of the male reproductive system, the prostate secretes
 seminal fluid, which combines with sperm in the testicles to form semen.
 Prostate cancer typically affects men aged 40 to 80.  If treated early,
 prostate cancer is curable.  If not, cancer will spread through the
 bloodstream infecting other parts of the body.  An estimated 40,000 men die
 annually from prostate cancer.
     Since early-stage prostate cancer exhibits no symptoms, men aged 50 and
 older should be screened annually.  A prostate-antigen (PSA) blood test and
 digital rectal exam are recommended.  Patients with advanced disease have
 difficulties with urination.  Once diagnosed, treatment options depend upon
 the disease's progression, the patient's age and overall health.
     Treatment options include watchful waiting, since some cancers may take
 years to progress to a stage exhibiting problematic symptoms; brachytherapy,
 the introduction of radioactive metallic pellets into the prostate;
 cryosurgery, which freezes the tumor and has fewer complications than
 brachytherapy; and radical prostatectomy, the surgical removal of the
 prostate.  If cancer is discovered in the prostate after a patient has
 undergone radiation treatment, further radiation is not an option.
 Cryosurgery can be utilized in these cases, as it is a clinically proven
 therapy for the treatment of recurring prostate cancer.
 
     Galil Medical Ltd.
     Galil Medical Ltd., with operations in Israel and the U.S., specializes in
 the development, manufacture and marketing of state-of-the-art, minimally
 invasive medical products and systems.  ESC Medical Systems, Ltd.
 (Nasdaq: ESCM) is a major shareholder of Galil Medical.
 
      Contact:
      Jim McGlone
      Galil Medical USA
      (516) 532-2517
 
      Anne Brownsey
      Ruder Finn
      (312) 329-3907
 
 

SOURCE Galil Medical USA
    WOBURN, Mass., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- An innovative technology is
 offering men whose prostate cancer recurs after radiation therapy new hope as
 Medicare coverage of this procedure went into effect Sunday. SeedNet(TM), a
 freezing technique used to destroy the diseased prostate gland without
 damaging the surrounding healthy tissue, is the only option to improve
 long-term survival in men who experience a recurrence of the disease.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010402/NEM010 )
     "The SeedNet(TM) technology is an advance in the evolution of prostate
 cancer treatments," says Jeffrey K. Cohen, MD, director of the Division of
 Urology at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.  "The system gives the
 physician much greater control in destroying the diseased gland with less risk
 and pain to the patient." The SeedNet(TM) cryosurgery technology is marketed
 in the U.S. by Galil Medical USA.
     Prostate cancer is the second leading cancer killer of men in the United
 States.  Each year, 40 percent of the 180,000 men diagnosed with prostate
 cancer undergo radiation therapy.  In nearly 22,000 men, radiation fails and
 the cancer returns.
 
     SeedNet(TM) Technology
     The SeedNet(TM) technology uses 12 tiny needles that are inserted through
 a template into the prostate gland, directly through the skin of the perineum,
 avoiding the use of cumbersome insertion kits.  The needles use supercold
 argon gas to generate patented IceSeeds(TM) that combine to form a precisely
 contoured iceball to freeze the diseased tissue and destroy the gland without
 harming the surrounding healthy tissue.  The physician watches the placement
 of the needles and the freezing process through transrectal ultrasound imaging
 technology.  The unique procedure evenly distributes the cancer-killing
 "seeds" safely and effectively with minimal invasiveness, making it the best
 treatment option for patients who cannot or prefer not to undergo radical
 prostatectomy (surgery to remove the prostate.)
     Unlike surgical removal of the prostate, which requires a two to three day
 hospital stay, the SeedNet(TM) system allows the patient to return home the
 same day. The procedure is performed in a hospital under anesthesia.  Recovery
 time is quick and the patient is able to resume normal activities soon after
 the procedure.  There is little risk of incontinence or fistulas developing,
 though as with other prostate treatments, there is the risk of impotence, but
 figures for cryosurgery are not yet conclusive.  The patient returns to the
 doctor for a PSA reading after three months and is then screened on a biannual
 basis.  "PSA responses have been superb for patients who have gone through the
 SeedNet(TM) procedure," says Dr. Cohen.
     The SeedNet(TM) system is based on technology developed by the Israeli
 military to cool the infrared devices that guide missiles.  The proprietary
 device uses the brachytherapy insertion template, which is already commonly
 used by urologists for treating prostate cancer with radiation.
     The SeedNet(TM) system was approved by the FDA in October 2000.  The
 Health Care Finance Administration (HCFA) in 1999 endorsed cryosurgery as a
 valid, enduring method for treating men with prostate cancer.  In December
 2000, HCFA approved cryosurgery for Medicare coverage as the sole reimbursed
 salvage treatment for men with prostate cancer who had failed radiation
 therapy.
 
     Prostate Cancer
     The prostate is a walnut-sized, muscular gland that surrounds part of the
 urethra. As part of the male reproductive system, the prostate secretes
 seminal fluid, which combines with sperm in the testicles to form semen.
 Prostate cancer typically affects men aged 40 to 80.  If treated early,
 prostate cancer is curable.  If not, cancer will spread through the
 bloodstream infecting other parts of the body.  An estimated 40,000 men die
 annually from prostate cancer.
     Since early-stage prostate cancer exhibits no symptoms, men aged 50 and
 older should be screened annually.  A prostate-antigen (PSA) blood test and
 digital rectal exam are recommended.  Patients with advanced disease have
 difficulties with urination.  Once diagnosed, treatment options depend upon
 the disease's progression, the patient's age and overall health.
     Treatment options include watchful waiting, since some cancers may take
 years to progress to a stage exhibiting problematic symptoms; brachytherapy,
 the introduction of radioactive metallic pellets into the prostate;
 cryosurgery, which freezes the tumor and has fewer complications than
 brachytherapy; and radical prostatectomy, the surgical removal of the
 prostate.  If cancer is discovered in the prostate after a patient has
 undergone radiation treatment, further radiation is not an option.
 Cryosurgery can be utilized in these cases, as it is a clinically proven
 therapy for the treatment of recurring prostate cancer.
 
     Galil Medical Ltd.
     Galil Medical Ltd., with operations in Israel and the U.S., specializes in
 the development, manufacture and marketing of state-of-the-art, minimally
 invasive medical products and systems.  ESC Medical Systems, Ltd.
 (Nasdaq: ESCM) is a major shareholder of Galil Medical.
 
      Contact:
      Jim McGlone
      Galil Medical USA
      (516) 532-2517
 
      Anne Brownsey
      Ruder Finn
      (312) 329-3907
 
 SOURCE  Galil Medical USA