Brachytherapy is a type of radiation therapy that involves placing radioactive implants, or seeds, directly onto tumors to improve the efficiency of higher doses of radiation while limiting side effects and the overall duration of treatment.
The Build-Blu system is a disposable, next-generation, seed stranding device, which enables the affordable building of custom strands with Cesium-131 isotopes right in the operating room, according to IsoRay.
In this way, clinicians can tailor the procedure to the patient’s anatomy in real time, IsoRay says. The new system will provide an alternative to intra-operative techniques, which are estimated to account for about 25 percent of the brachytherapy market.
Previous research showed that Cesium-131 is more cost-effective and causes fewer side effects than other treatments. One important feature is shorter recuperation periods, which means that patients are able to recover their urinary, bowel, and sexual functions quicker than with other brachytherapy alternatives. Prior data also demonstrated Cesium-131’s long-term effectiveness, with only 14% of treated patients experiencing cancer relapse at a nine-year follow-up.
“We are excited to respond to market needs with this innovative solution for intra-operative construction of brachytherapy strands,” William Cavanagh, chief scientific officer and chief operations officer of IsoRay, said in a press release. “This is the first disposable device for building strands in the operating room and uses a proprietary design to efficiently construct the individualized treatment plan.”
According to Cavanagh, IsoRay also believes Build-Blu is the first delivery system specifically for prostate brachytherapy in years.
“The Build-Blu delivery system will provide IsoRay with a differentiated solution, and position IsoRay to enter the intra-operative segment of the prostate brachytherapy market,” said Thomas LaVoy, chairman and CEO of IsoRay.
LaVoy said Build-Blu is part of the company’s increased investment in product development, which started 18 months ago. He further said that the system’s disposable loader is the first of its kind, which offers an affordable solution to practitioners. With Build-Blu’s expected release this summer, Isoray anticipates strengthening its position as a leader in prostate brachytherapy, according to LaVoy.
Besides prostate cancer, the company is also developing brachytherapy and medical radioisotope applications for the treatment of lung, brain, head and neck, and gynecological cancers.