New European Study Shows TheraSphere® Prolongs Liver Cancer Survival Rates

Patient Case Studies and Technical Considerations to be Presented by a Leading Interventional Radiologist and Nuclear Medicine Physician at the EANM 2010

EANM 2010

OTTAWA, Canada--()--MDS Nordion, a leading provider of products and services to the global health science market, today announced that the first large European study using Yttrium-90 (Y-90) glass microspheres has been published on the use of TheraSphere®, an innovative radioembolisation therapy for the localised treatment of patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or primary liver cancer. The publication, which currently can be viewed online and is expected to appear in the November 2010 edition of Hepatology, concludes that radioembolisation with TheraSphere® is both safe and effective, and states that the overall survival rate is similar to that found in another recently published large study analysing Y-90 glass microspheres for the treatment of HCC.1

In line with this announcement, MDS Nordion will attend the European Association of Nuclear Medicine 2010 conference in Vienna, 9 to 13 October, booth X14-15, where a leading interventional radiologist and nuclear medicine physician (a co-author of the study) will discuss their experiences with the therapy and the options it offers liver cancer patients.

Conducted at MDS Nordion’s European Centre of Excellence in Essen, Germany, the study involved 108 patients, none of whom were eligible for conventional locoregional therapies. Patients achieved a median overall survival of 16.4 months with minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue, even in patients with advanced liver cirrhosis or portal vein thrombosis. No lung or visceral toxicity was observed. The most frequently observed adverse event was a transient fatigue-syndrome.

Philip Hilgard, MD, hepatologist and lead author of the paper says, “The outcomes of this study were not unexpected, but it was extremely important for us to be able to substantiate and verify the treatment here in Europe. We feel confident that the publication of our study will help towards giving more patients access to this advanced therapy.” The full study, entitled “Radioembolisation with Yttrium-90 Glass Microspheres in Hepatocellular Carcinoma: European Experience on Safety and long term Survival” is available online here.

Peter Covitz, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Innovation, MDS Nordion, comments, “The patient outcomes reported in this study substantiate our belief that TheraSphere offers an important therapy option for advanced liver cancer patients. We look forward to working with more patients and oncologists to further advance the quality of liver cancer treatment in Europe.”

Nadine Piorkowsky, President of the European Liver Patients Association (ELPA) adds, “Radioactive microspheres that can be targeted directly to the tumour via the arteries are a major scientific breakthrough for interventional oncology. We encourage further studies that will improve patient outcomes.”

At MDS Nordion’s booth at this year’s EANM conference, there will be unique and educational presentations that will provide an overview of radioembolisation using Y-90 for liver cancer patients, including:

  • Dr Riad Salem, Professor of Radiology, Medicine and Surgery and Director of Interventional Oncology in the Department of Radiology at Northwestern University, has been leading a number of TheraSphere studies in the U.S. He will present on specific case studies and experiences.

Spokespeople available for interviews relating to the study:

  • Dr. Philip Hilgard, Associate Professor of Medicine and Head of Department for Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at the Academic Teaching Hospital Evangelisches Krankenhaus in Mülheim/Ruhr, Germany.
  • Prof. Dr. med. Gerald Antoch, Director of the Institute of Radiology at the University Hospital Düsseldorf.

In-person interviews will be available with the following at EANM:

  • Dr Riad Salem
  • Tom Burnett, Vice President Global Sales, MDS Nordion

EANM booth location:
Booth X14-15

About Primary Liver Cancer
About 50,000 cases of liver cancer are diagnosed each year in the European Union, with 31,000 of those cases in Germany, Italy, Austria, UK and France, according to the European Cancer Observatory (2008). Approximately, 600,000 cases are diagnosed each year globally. The most common form of primary liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the fifth most common form of cancer in the world and is increasing globally due to an increase in the incidence of hepatitis.

About TheraSphere
TheraSphere is a liver cancer therapy that consists of millions of small glass beads (20 to 30 micrometers in diameter) containing radioactive yttrium-90. The product is injected by physicians into the main artery of the patient’s liver through a catheter, which allows the treatment to be delivered directly to the tumour via blood vessels.

TheraSphere treatment can generally be administered on an outpatient basis and does not usually require an overnight hospital stay. MDS Nordion is approved (CE Mark) in Europe to distribute TheraSphere for treatment of hepatic neoplasia. MDS Nordion established a European TheraSphere Centre of Excellence in Essen, Germany to train and educate oncology professionals on the use of this innovative cancer treatment. In addition, there are multiple treatment centres across Europe, including the BCLC Group Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, Spain; Centre Eugene Marquis in Rennes, France; and Istituto Tumori in Milan, Italy.

TheraSphere treatment has some common side effects, including mild to moderate fatigue, pain and nausea for about a week. Physicians describe these symptoms as similar to those of the common flu. Some patients will experience some loss of appetite and temporary changes in several blood tests. For details on the rarer side effects, please refer to the Instructions for Use on our website at www.mdsnordion.com/TheraSphere.

About MDS Inc.
MDS Inc. (TSX: MDS) (NYSE: MDZ) is a global health science company that provides market-leading products and services used for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are a leading provider of innovative technologies for use in medical imaging and radiotherapeutics, and sterilization technologies benefiting the lives of millions of people in more than 65 countries around the world. Our products and services are used daily by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories. MDS has more than 600 highly skilled employees in four locations. Find out more at www.mdsnordion.com.

1 Gastroenterology 2010; 138: 52-64.

Contacts

MEDIA:
MDS
Shelley Maclean
(613) 592-3400 x. 2414
shelley.maclean@mdsinc.com
or
Laura Larsen, Schwartz Communications
+44 (0)207 096 1851
llarsen@schwartzcomm.co.uk
or
INVESTORS:
Ana Raman
(613) 595-4580
investor.relations@mdsinc.com

Sharing

Contacts

MEDIA:
MDS
Shelley Maclean
(613) 592-3400 x. 2414
shelley.maclean@mdsinc.com
or
Laura Larsen, Schwartz Communications
+44 (0)207 096 1851
llarsen@schwartzcomm.co.uk
or
INVESTORS:
Ana Raman
(613) 595-4580
investor.relations@mdsinc.com