COLUMBIA, MD--(Marketwire - April 16, 2010) -
Nucletron, a knowledge-based leader in radiation oncology, today announced the launch of a new informational web site for patients and healthcare practitioners, www.aboutbrachytherapy.com
. The comprehensive online resource is part of Nucletron's "Because Life is for Living" public education campaign to raise awareness about brachytherapy as a very precise, quick and effective form of radiotherapy used in the treatment of cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society(1), cancer is the second leading cause of death among Americans, with an estimated 1.48 million diagnoses and more than 562,000 related deaths in 2009. Half of all men and one-third of all women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.
The need for the campaign was identified after a recent survey of cancer patients indicated that 75 percent of cancer patients have never heard of brachytherapy. Of the 25 percent who were aware of it, only one in four had been offered brachytherapy as a treatment option. The research also confirmed that cancer patients frequently access the Internet for treatment information.
"This research shows a lack of awareness among cancer patients about the benefits of brachytherapy," said Jonathan Briers, M.D., vice president of medical affairs for Nucletron. "The launch of aboutbrachytherapy.com provides the facts about brachytherapy to support patients and their families as they work with their doctors to make informed decisions about cancer treatment."
The "Because Life is for Living" campaign emphasizes that brachytherapy delivers the required dose of radiation over a reduced period of time, shortening treatment and recovery times as compared to other forms of radiotherapy such as external beam. In treating prostate cancer, for example, normal treatment times that can take up to seven weeks with external beam radiation treatment take only one or two days with brachytherapy(2),(3). Since radiation is delivered directly to the cancer site, brachytherapy treatment reduces the risk of unnecessary damage to surrounding healthy tissue and organs. Patients who receive brachytherapy for many common types of cancer including breast, prostate, gynecologic and skin cancers experience fewer side effects, such as less risk of incontinence and impotence vs. surgery or external beam radiation treatment in the case of prostate cancer, and less damage to the skin, heart and lungs in the case of breast cancer. These factors minimize disruption to patients and allow a faster return to everyday life.
The survey, which was conducted by research firm ICM, showed that men were more likely to be offered brachytherapy than women. Four in 10 men were aware of brachytherapy compared to less than 1 in 10 women.
"The survey results show that there is low awareness of what brachytherapy is and what types of cancers it helps treat. Brachytherapy is often used to treat prostate cancer, but it is also a proven type of radiotherapy being used successfully in a range of other cancers," added Dr. Briers. "Information about effective treatment options like brachytherapy should be easy to find for anyone dealing with cancer. We want to provide patients and their families with the opportunity to learn more about brachytherapy so they may discuss it as a treatment option with their doctors."
New brachytherapy and educational materials in support of Nucletron's "Because Life is for Living" campaign will be available at the 2010 American Brachytherapy Society (ABS) Annual Meeting in Atlanta April 29 - May 1, Booth #125, or can be found at www.aboutbrachytherapy.com.
Nucletron provides state of the art radiotherapy solutions for cancer treatment that meet the evolving needs of patients, their carers and healthcare professionals around the world. Nucletron has unmatched global leadership in brachytherapy, a very precise, highly effective and well-tolerated treatment option for healthcare providers, tailored to the needs of individual patients. We work with clinical teams to constantly improve and develop an innovative portfolio of integrated products, software and services that assures excellent patient outcomes. Headquartered in Veenendaal, The Netherlands, Nucletron employs more than 500 employees, with offices in 15 countries, and products available in more than 100 countries around the world. Please visit www.nucletron.com to learn more about our healthcare solutions.
Brachytherapy is a high-precision radiation therapy in which the radiation source used to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors is placed in or close to the tumor itself. Brachytherapy offers a precise, highly effective and well tolerated treatment option tailored to the needs of individual patients. The precision brachytherapy approach allows a physician to concentrate a high dose of radiation in a small area, minimizing damage to nearby, healthy body tissue and organs, over a shorter treatment period. For more information, please visit www.aboutbrachytherapy.com.
About the Market Research
The ICM Cancer Patient Survey was conducted in February 2010, based on a pool of 598 online surveys completed by current or past cancer patients in the UK, USA and Netherlands according to the following breakdown: 250 UK, 250 USA and 98 Netherlands respondents. Respondents were 54% male and 46% female with ages varying from 18-65+ years old.
(1) http://www.cancer.org/downloads/PRO/Cancer_Statistic_2009_Slides_rev.ppt #399,4, Change in US Death Rates* from 1991 to 2006, Stewart AJ & Jones B. In Devlin Brachytherapy: Applications and techniques. 2007.
(2) Dickler A, Patel RR, Wazer D. Expert Rev Med Devices 2009;6(3):325-33.
(3) Viani GA, Manta GB, Stefano EJ, et al. J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2009;28:47.