Survey Confirms the CyberKnife(R) System as the Only Extracranial Radiosurgery Device in Widespread Use
SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq: ARAY - News), a global leader in the field of radiosurgery, announced today the results of an independent survey that confirms that the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System dominates the field of extracranial radiosurgery. The survey concludes that hospitals with combined radiotherapy and radiosurgery systems, also known as "all-purpose" units, are rarely utilizing the extracranial radiosurgery capabilities. In fact, the survey, which included more than 1,600 hospitals and radiation oncology facilities, shows that for 88 percent of the all-purpose systems in use today, less than 10 percent of the procedures were extracranial radiosurgery.
The technique of radiosurgery was introduced more than 20 years ago for the treatment of brain tumors. At this time, radiosurgical accuracy was achieved using an invasive device, known as a stereotactic frame. This frame was designed to hold the head still by screwing a metal frame into the patient's skull. Use of this invasive frame limited radiosurgery to intracranial treatments (treatments of tumors inside the head).
The CyberKnife System achieves the same accuracy as frame-based radiosurgery, but uses image guided robotics to avoid the need for a frame. This approach is not only less invasive for intracranial treatments but has also made extracranial radiosurgery possible (treatment of tumors throughout the body). This independent survey confirms that, while manufacturers of other technologies may make claims about extracranial radiosurgery capabilities for their equipment, the CyberKnife System remains the only extracranial radiosurgery technology in widespread clinical use.
According to the American Cancer Society's Cancer Facts & Figures 2007, an estimated 1.4 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed this year in the United States. Of these cases a large percentage are candidates for radiosurgery, however the survey results indicate that healthcare facilities are not capitalizing on the opportunity to provide extracranial radiosurgical treatment to a large number of these patients, particularly those who have been diagnosed with surgically complex or inoperable tumors.
Evidence shows that hospitals that have supplemented their radiotherapy or all-purpose units with a dedicated robotic radiosurgery system, such as the CyberKnife System, have nearly doubled the number of cancer patients treated.
After installing a CyberKnife System in 2002, Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., treated 95 patients with extracranial tumors and 105 patients with intracranial tumors in the first year alone. Over the past three years, the hospital reports that the treatment of both extracranial and intracranial cases has increased 150 percent and 55 percent respectively, with many cases involving tumors in the spine and lungs.
"Not only has the dedicated robotic radiosurgery system expanded our ability to help our existing cancer patients, it has enabled us to treat an entirely new group of patients that we could not adequately serve with radiotherapy alone," said Linda F. Winger, vice president of professional services and research administration at Georgetown University Hospital.
"Accuray is seeing significant demand for the CyberKnife System to treat extracranial tumors, such as those associated with lung and prostate cancer," said Euan Thomson, Ph.D., president and CEO of Accuray. "Recently published reports indicate a potentially significant shortfall in cancer treatment resources associated with the United States' aging population. As a pain free, non-invasive, outpatient procedure radiosurgery is ideally suited to address this growing need. This survey confirms what we have believed for some time, that the CyberKnife System is the only extracranial radiosurgery system in widespread use."
Dominic & Irvine Research, an independent market research firm, conducted a survey of more than 1,600 sites by telephone between February and June of 2006 to determine the nature of the radiation oncology program, the site's instruments (Linear accelerator, Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy, Image- Guided Radiation Therapy, Stereotactic Radiosurgery, etc.), and the pattern of usage for the equipment for both intracranial and extracranial treatments. All-purpose units, as referenced above, include Varian Medical Systems' Trilogy(TM), Elekta's Synergy® and BrainLAB's Novalis®. Interviews were conducted with the head or director of radiation oncology as well as radiation oncologists and physicists at some sites.
About the CyberKnife® Robotic Radiosurgery System
The CyberKnife System represents the next generation of radiosurgery systems, combining continuous image-guidance technology with a compact linear accelerator that has the flexibility to move in three dimensions according to the treatment plan. This combination, which is referred to as intelligent robotics, extends the benefits of radiosurgery to the treatment of tumors anywhere in the body. The CyberKnife System autonomously tracks, detects and corrects for tumor and patient movement in real-time during the procedure, enabling delivery of precise, high dose radiation typically with sub- millimeter accuracy.
Accuray Incorporated (Nasdaq: ARAY - News), based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is a global leader in the field of radiosurgery. Its CyberKnife System is the world's first and only commercially available intelligent robotic radiosurgery system designed to treat tumors anywhere in the body, typically with sub- millimeter accuracy. To date, it is estimated that the CyberKnife System has been used by physicians to treat more than 20,000 patients worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.accuray.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including statements as to financial guidance, development, clinical studies, regulatory review and approval, and commercialization of products, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date the statements are made and are based on information available at the time those statements are made and/or management's good faith belief as of that time with respect to future events. You should not put undue reliance on any forward- looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual performance and results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements we make include: reimbursement for the CyberKnife procedure; government approvals of our products; market acceptance of products; funding requirements; intellectual property protection for our products; competing products; and other risks detailed from time to time under the heading "Risk Factors" in Registration Statement on Form S-1 (Reg. No. 333-138622), and our most recent form 10-Q filed on March 15, 2007 and may be updated from time to time by our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. If one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or if any underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual performance or results may vary materially from any future performance or results expressed or implied by these forward- looking statements. We assume no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual performance or results, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information, except to the extent required by applicable securities laws.
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Source: Accuray Incorporated