01 May Leading cancer institute to install three TomoTherapy systems
Madison, Wis. – TomoTherapy, Inc. has sold three of its advanced radiation therapy systems to one of the nation’s leading cancer centers, the company announced.
The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, based at the University of South Florida in Tampa, will install three of TomoTherapy’s Hi-Art Systems and could begin treating patients with it by August of this year. The purchase price was not announced.
Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers, and has been recognized as one of the top cancer hospitals in the United States. In recognition of its contributions to cancer prevention and research, the National Cancer Institute awarded Moffitt the status of a Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2001.
Citing Moffitt’s status in the realm of cancer treatment, Dr. Fred Robertson, CEO of TomoTherapy, characterized the partnership as another significant step in the “reshaping of radiation therapy.”
“Moffitt is consistently rated among the leading cancer hospitals in the U.S.,” Robertson stated. “We’re excited about the possibilities of this partnership.”
The Hi-Art system, which has been sold to cancer centers in North America, Europe, and Asia, is marketed as the facilitator of three aspects of radiation therapy: treatment planning, dose targeting, and precise radiation delivery to tumors. It is the ability to target radiation to the patient’s cancer cells that can reduce or eliminate the application of radiation to healthy tissues, resulting in quicker recovery times and less costly care.
Sixty-four clinical sites worldwide have installed the system and are either treating or are ready to treat patients with it; 15 of those installations are outside the United States.
Whether it’s chemotherapy, radiation, or some other therapy, healthcare providers are moving to greater individualized treatments. Dr. Craig Stevens, division chief of radiation oncology for Moffitt, said the system would give the center enough flexibility to monitor patient response to treatment on a daily basis. He cited the example of a tumor that quickly responds to treatment, which in turn could lead to an increase in radiation doses to healthy tissues. “We will now be able to detect the response and adapt our therapy accordingly,” he said, “allowing us to further individualize our treatment approach to every patient.”
Three years ago, only one of the nation’s top 50 oncology centers, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, had installed the Hi-Art system, and that was in part because the technology behind it was developed by UW researchers. Del Coufal, vice president of marketing for TomoTherapy, said the system now has been installed in about 25 percent of the leading centers, including Johns Hopkins. “It certainly is a snowballing affect,” Coufal said of the Moffitt sale.
Two members of TomoTherapy’s original research group, professor Thomas Rockwell Mackie, a medical physicist, and Paul J. Reckwerdt, a mathematician and software engineer, founded the company in 1997. It holds an exclusive license on 70 patents issued worldwide, most of which are protected by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.