St. Jude Medical Center Performs its First Nerve Repair Surgery Following Prostatectomy Using Avance® Nerve Graft Technology from AxoGen, Inc.

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St. Jude Medical Center performs its first nerve repair surgery followig prostatetctomy with Avance® Nerve Graft.

St Jude Medical

St. Jude Medical Center, 2011 recipient of a Three Year Accreditation With Commendation from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer, and AxoGen, Inc. have announced the hospital’s first robotic- assisted nerve repair with Avance® Nerve Graft following radical prostatectomy surgery. The processed nerve allograft technology is used to bridge severed peripheral nerves and, in this case, was implanted to replace the nerve bundles that had to be removed as part of the procedure to excise a cancerous prostate.    

The surgery was performed by Michael Gazzaniga, MD, FACS, Director of St. Jude’s urologic oncology program and a nationally-recognized expert on nerve-sparing robotic prostatectomy who has performed hundreds of prostate cancer surgeries during more than 10 years in practice. Dr. Gazzaniga was also recognized as a Physician of Excellence by the Orange County Medical Association in 2006 and 2012. Dr. Gazzaniga was assisted in performing the surgery by his partner, Alan Weinberg, MD, FACS.

“St. Jude is committed to offering advanced technologies to treat patients with prostate cancer. We offer robotic surgery with the da Vinci® Surgical System and are now able to offer Avance® Nerve Graft for patients undergoing prostatectomies when nerve damage is a risk,” said Dr. Gazzaniga. “This patient was an ideal candidate for the Avance® Nerve Graft. He had normal potency and a high- grade tumor and I knew the nerve could not be spared. With resection of nerve bundles, patients have a high risk of impotence. Avance® Nerve Graft now offers us a new opportunity to repair injured nerves.”

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among U.S. men and the second leading cancer killer after lung cancer. Nearly 200,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year. While the primary objective of prostate surgery is to remove all cancer cells, surgeons also work to preserve the nerves near the prostate which control urinary continence and erectile function. However, if the location and spread of cancer cells requires removal of these nerves, a nerve graft may be used to repair damaged nerve tissue.

Avance® Nerve Graft is a processed human nerve allograft that provides surgeons a readily available nerve graft to repair peripheral nerves damaged by traumatic injury or removed during surgical procedures.

“Injury to the nerves can have significant quality of life consequences for men following prostatectomy surgery,” said Karen Zaderej, AxoGen’s CEO. “We are delighted to hear that St. Jude Medical Center has incorporated Avance® Nerve Graft into its treatment algorithm for peripheral nerve injuries.”

About St. Jude Medical Center
St. Jude Medical Center, part of the St. Joseph Health System, is a faith-based, non-profit, 384-bed, acute care hospital. With more than 700 of Southern California’s finest physicians on staff, St. Jude offers nearly every medical specialty and sub-specialty. Whether for the birth of a baby, life-saving surgery or a routine mammogram, St. Jude continues to set the standard for medical care and offers the community the most comprehensive array of services and programs.

About AxoGen, Inc.
AxoGen (OTCBB: AXGN) is a leading regenerative medicine company dedicated to advancing the science and commercialization of peripheral nerve repair solutions. AxoGen’s products offer a full suite of surgical nerve reconstruction solutions including Avance® Nerve Graft, the only commercially available processed nerve allograft for bridging severed nerves, AxoGuard® Nerve Connector, a coaptation aid allowing for close approximation of severed nerves, and AxoGuard® Nerve Protector, a bioscaffold used to reinforce a coaptation site, wrap a partially severed nerve or isolate and protect nerve tissue. For more information, visit our website at

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The da Vinci® Surgical System is a registered trademark of Intuitive Surgical.

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Greg Freitag, Chief Financial Officer

Dru Ann Copping VP Public Affairs or Michael Gazzaniga
St. Jude Medical Center
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