Sanarus Technologies, Inc.
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For many cancers, there is a need for a third option between the two current choices of radical tissue destruction and watchful waiting. New cancer ablation devices in development have the potential to fill that gap. Ablative tumor therapies can play a role in eradication of early-stage and localized tumors, as salvage therapies in patients who've failed other therapies, and for patients whose health precludes surgery or further radiation. Ablation has many advantages. It's a cost-effective and minimally invasive alternative to robotic surgery or radiation devices, and may lead to fewer side effects and complications than current primary tumor treatments. But proving that ablation can save lives compared to more radical forms of therapy requires clinical evidence from multiyear outcome trials that few smaller companies are willing to invest in. There's little evidence to date that venture investors will see returns. But the race is on among companies hoping to become the first device approved for low-risk, localized prostate cancer, a potentially game-changing event.
Surgeons attending the 11th annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons were perplexed by the reversal of the trend away from mastectomy and toward breast-conserving therapies. Advanced breast-conserving products were presented at the meeting; but with lowered revenue expectations that can ultimately be attributed to the economic woes of the past couple of years. High unemployment and the lack of health care coverage have prompted many women to delay or forego their yearly mammogram, and as a result, the numbers of biopsies, surgeries, and radiation therapy procedures have declined as well.
Frontiers in Breast Cancer Research, Part II: Developments in Partial Breast Irradiation and Tumor Ablation
As the use of breast conserving lumpectomy expands as a treatment for early-stage breast cancer, interest has surged in alternatives to whole breast irradiation. Follow-on radiation treatment is crucial to the success of this therapy, but a significant number of women are either unable or unwilling to undergo the typical treatment course involving five to seven weeks of daily radiation therapy. The device industry is responding with technologies aimed at delivering post-lumpectomy radiation therapy in a more convenient, potentially safer way.
Frazier Health Care Ventures supplies $7 million to Endocare, a cryotherapy company in the midst of a turnaround.
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