Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Sylvester First in Miami to Offer “GPS for the Body®”


Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth—University of Miami Health System, today announced it is the first cancer-care program in the region enabling clinicians to accurately manage delivery of radiation to prostate cancer tumors through a new technology called the Calypso® 4D Localization System™. The System enables precision-guided radiation therapy delivery to the prostate with continuous, objective, organ-motion detection and monitoring. This cutting-edge technology, also referred to as GPS for the Body®, allows clinicians to accurately manage delivery of the prescribed radiation to the tumor.

More than 1.3 million cancer patients receive radiation treatment annually in the U.S. The movement of organs, which naturally occurs as a result of normal body physiology—such as the bladder filling—may cause the prostate to move slightly, potentially compromising the precise delivery of radiation during treatment. The Calypso System enables physicians to detect the slightest tumor movement in real-time so extremely accurate radiation therapy can be delivered without damaging healthy surrounding organs and tissues, which can lead to common side effects such as impotence, incontinence and loss of bowel function. The Calypso System has also been cleared by the FDA for post-prostatectomy patients at risk or diagnosed with recurrent prostate cancer. Studies indicate up to 20% of prostatectomy patients are diagnosed with recurrent prostate cancer following surgery and require adjuvant radiation therapy.

“I am extremely excited to be able to offer my prostate cancer patients this new advanced and most accurate radiation technology,” said Dr. Alan Pollack, professor and chairman of radiation oncology at Sylvester. “The ability to monitor prostate motion in real time with incredible accuracy is allowing us to tailor treatments in ways never before possible. There is no question that this is one of the most important advances to date in the field and I expect it will factor prominently in the treatment of other tumors besides prostate cancer in the future.”

The key feature of the Calypso System is its Beacon® electromagnetic transponders. Three Beacon® transponders, each the size of a small grain of rice, are implanted in the patient’s prostate before radiation therapy is initiated. The Beacon® transponders communicate with the Calypso System to continuously locate the tumor target and monitor its location during each radiation treatment. Currently, there is no other technology available that offers an accurate, continuous, real-time method during the radiation treatments for precisely locating, monitoring and tracking the tumor at all times.

“The anticipated benefits of managing prostate organ motion during radiation therapy delivery are several, including increased clinical confidence that comes with knowing the tumor target is accurately aligned with the delivery of the radiation beam and reduced toxicity of treatment because tighter margins are possible as a consequence.” added Dr. Pollack. “We are seeing immediate benefits, with reduced side effects during treatment and afterwards.”

About Sylvester

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine opened in 1992 to provide comprehensive cancer services and today serves as the hub for cancer-related research, diagnosis, and treatment at UHealth—University of Miami Health System. Sylvester handles 1,500 inpatient admissions annually, performs 2,400 surgical procedures, and treats more than 3,900 new cancer patients. All Sylvester cancer specialists are on the faculty of the Miller School of Medicine, South Florida’s only academic medical center. In addition, Sylvester physicians and scientists are engaged in 200 clinical trials and receive more than $33 million annually in research grants. Sylvester at Deerfield Beach opened in 2003 to better meet the needs of residents of Broward and Palm Beach counties, and now offers appointments with 30 physicians from 14 of Sylvester’s 15 Site Disease Groups, complementary therapies from the Courtelis Center, and education and outreach events. Sylvester recently opened a satellite facility in Kendall as well.

About Calypso® Medical

Calypso® Medical Technologies, Inc. (“Calypso”) is a Seattle, WA-based privately held medical device company. The Company’s proprietary tumor localization system utilizes miniaturized implanted devices (Beacon® electromagnetic transponders) to continuously, accurately, and objectively pinpoint the location of tumors for improved accuracy in radiation therapy. Calypso Medical addresses two major issues in modern radiation oncology: errors in treatment set-up and tumor motion during treatment. In addition, the Calypso® 4D Localization System’s™ non-ionizing electromagnetic guidance has been found to improve work flow efficiency and treatment room utilization. The technology is designed for body-wide cancers commonly treated with radiation therapy, including prostate, breast, lung, head, neck and other radiation therapy target organs. The products are FDA 510(k) cleared for use in the prostate and prostatic bed.

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