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May 17, 2011

Calypso's Praised System for Treating Prostate Cancer to be Exhibited, Discussed at American Urological Meeting

Calypso Medical Technologies, Inc. will discuss recent clinical findings suggesting that its Calypso System can be used to more precisely deliver radiation in post-prostatectomy patients and minimize side effects May 14 to May 19 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Calypso, developer of GPS for the Body technology, used for the precise tracking of cancerous tumors during radiation therapy,. is exhibiting at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting (booth 4337). The Calypso System has been used on over 10,000 patients worldwide.

In addition, Calypso will provide on-site physician training on the implantation of miniature Beacon electromagnetic transponders, which are the core of the Calypso System, a real-time tracking system for radiation therapy.

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The latest American Cancer Society estimates for prostate cancer in the United States for 2010 showed that about 217,730 new cases of prostate cancer would be diagnosed and about 32,050 men would die of prostate cancer. 

Approximately one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. About 1 man in 36 will die of prostate cancer. But more than 2 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.

Up to thirty percent of prostatectomy patients may require salvage (a type of radiation therapy) radiation to eradicate cancer cells in the prostatic bed, a small pocket or depression, just below the bladder, where the prostate gland is located. It is a common place of prostate cancer spread.

Like the prostate itself, the prostatic bed can move unpredictably, leading to unintended radiation of the adjacent bladder and rectum, according to experts.

The Calypso System uses GPS for the Body(R) technology to safely guide radiation delivery during prostate cancer treatment. Urologists implant Calypso transponders into the prostate or prostatic bed prior to the beginning of therapy. Beacon electromagnetic transponders, smaller than a grain of rice, are permanently placed in a patient’s prostate or prostatic bed.

Each transponder emits a unique radio frequency signal to the Calypso System, which then determines the exact location and motion information about the tumor target.

Because the tumor can be accurately tracked and monitored, precise targeted radiation can be delivered to the tumor while sparing surrounding healthy tissue and organs.

In 2010, the Canadian Journal of Urology published the first study to demonstrate that the use of the Calypso System in conjunction with adjuvant/salvage radiation therapy in the prostatic bed following radical prostatectomy is a safe and efficacious method for treatment targeting.

Seventeen patients were implanted with Calypso’s Beacon electromagnetic transponders and treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy monitored by the Calypso System. Treatment was well-tolerated with no significant side effects, according to the study. Nine of the 17 patients had at least six months of follow-up after completion of treatment and all of these patients had undetectable PSA levels.

A May 2010 clinical study published in Urology reported that patients who underwent primary external beam radiation delivery monitored by the Calypso System experienced fewer prostate radiation side effects - including rectal, urinary and sexual dysfunction - than those undergoing conventional radiation therapy.

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Deborah DiSesa Hirsch is an award-winning health and technology writer who has worked for newspapers, magazines and IBM in her 20-year career. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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