Emerging Therapy for Metastatic Breast Cancer Reported at Interventional Radiology Symposium Sponsored by Merit Medical Systems

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Treatment advance for metastatic breast cancer reported at CIRSE, a worldwide conference for interventional radiologists. A minimally invasive treatment plan for metastatic breast cancer using superabsorbent polymer microspheres (SAP-MS) to deliver targeted anticancer drugs to the cancer lesions was presented by Shinichi Hori, MD, PhD, of Rinku, Japan.

Dr. Shinichi Hori, Director of the Gate Tower Institute for Image Guided Therapy, Rinku, Japan, has developed medical and embolic devices used by endovascular interventional specialists worldwide.

The SAP-MS technology is used to manufacture HepaSphere™ Microspheres, which in the European Union are marked for the embolization of liver cancer and metastatic liver tumors with or without doxorubicin delivery.

A new treatment for metastatic breast cancer using transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) for targeted drug delivery was presented at the CIRSE scientific symposium (http://www.cirse.org) in Munich, Germany by Shinichi Hori, MD, PhD, Director, Gate Tower Institute for Image Guided Therapy, Rinku, Japan. The TACE treatment was performed on patients who had a life-threatening recurrence of the cancerous lesion after having standard treatment. Merit Medical Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: MMSI) was the education sponsor of the Emerging Therapies symposium.

Dr. Hori developed the superabsorbent polymer microspheres (SAP-MS) and first used it in 1992 at Osaka University Hospital, Japan. Since then he has continued to research new medical interventions for targeted drug delivery to cancer lesions. Of the breast cancer cases presented at CIRSE, all women are tumor free after three years. The breast cancer metastases located in skin, lymph node, lumbar spine, chest wall and liver were treated with SAP-microspheres loaded with a chemotherapy drug. The TACE technique targeted the lesions and delivered the cancer-killing drug directly to the tumor. Dr. Hori collaborates closely with the breast cancer oncologists at Izumisano Hospital and Rinku General Medical Center. He developed this breast cancer treatment and similar treatments for liver cancer.

The SAP-MS technology is used to manufacture HepaSphere™ Microspheres (Merit Medical Systems, Inc.) which is CE marked in the European Union for the embolization treatment of liver cancer and metastatic liver tumors with or without doxorubicin delivery. At the Gate Tower Institute for Guided Therapy in Rinku, Japan, Dr. Hori reported in 2010, 15 percent of breast cancer cases evolved into metastatic liver cancer. [http://www.medical-excellence-japan.org/en/facility/04/index.html

“Interventional oncology is the next horizon,” said Hori. “Physicians worldwide are making great strides to develop new minimally invasive procedures using embolic microspheres to treat cancerous tumors. Extending and providing a good quality of life for patients with metastatic cancer using transarterial embolic intervention is my mission.”

“We have always worked with physicians and interventional radiologists to find the best ways to use our products and improve them to meet the needs of a diverse group of patients. Dr. Hori’s work exemplifies the best in physician commitment to improving the quality of care and extending the lives of so many people. We are proud to sponsor these unrestricted education forums for peer to peer medical case reporting,” said Fred P. Lampropoulos, Merit's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

About HepaSphere microspheres:
Interventional oncologists inject HepaSphere™ microspheres using a microcatheter to selectively enter the arteries that feed the lesion. HepaSphere microspheres are designed to carry and release the anticancer drugs directly to the lesion, minimizing the toxic side effects that are often experienced with traditional chemotherapy. These microspheres are commercially available from Merit as HepaSphere™ microspheres outside of the United States and QuadraSphere® microspheres within the U.S. Merit is a leading manufacturer and marketer of proprietary disposable medical devices used in interventional and diagnostic procedures, particularly in cardiology, radiology and endoscopy.

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