Boston Scientific’s tumor-targeting glass microbeads continue to shatter expectations in cancer treatment. The latest results from a long-term study have shown that adding TheraSpheres to a standard chemotherapy regimen may prolong survival in patients with colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver.
Almost 2 million cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed each year, with about a third of cases ending up metastasizing to the liver, where they are usually treated with a combination of surgery and chemotherapy.
Each of the tiny beads contains a low but potent dose of Y-90, a radioactive isotope of yttrium with a half-life of less than three days. The beads are planted directly into a tumor using a catheter, minimizing the dose and minimizing damage to nearby healthy tissue.
RELATED: Boston Scientific Protects Radioactive Microsphere Housing With Win Over Liver Cancer Survival
In the study, TheraSpheres were used in combination with chemotherapy as a second-line treatment for patients with liver-dominant colorectal cancer who had their disease worsening during or after their chemotherapy. A total of 215 patients received the combination therapy in the randomized trial, while another 213 were treated with a standard protocol.
According to the latest news The data presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Medical Oncology, those treated with the microspheres saw improvements in progression-free survival both overall and in the liver in particular, meeting the two primary endpoints of the study .
On average, the study group’s systemic progression-free survival rate improved by just under a month compared to those treated with chemotherapy alone, to a median rate of eight months. The liver-specific level, meanwhile, increased by almost two months compared to the control group, for a total of 9.1 months.
Overall, throughout the study period, patients with metastatic colorectal cancer treated with TheraSpheres were 31% less likely than the control group to have disease progression or death in any case. either the cause, and just over 40% less likely to experience liver disease progression or death.
The microbeads have been approved for use in the treatment of hepatic-dominant metastatic colorectal cancer in Canada, Europe and parts of Asia, and Peter Pattison, president of interventional oncology at Boston Scientific, said the Promising results from the EPOCH trial will support the company’s next submission. to the FDA.
RELATED: Boston Scientific Makes $ 4.2 Billion Offer to Buy BTG and Grow Its Oncology and Vascular Franchises
Earlier this year, TheraSpheres were approved by the US agency to help treat patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of primary liver cancer. The approval came after a study showed that 100% of patients treated with the microspheres had at least a partial response to treatment.
Soon after, in late March, Boston Scientific released data from another study further proving the treatment’s ability to reduce inoperable liver damage while limiting damage to surrounding healthy tissue, thereby improving survival rates at all times. levels.
TheraSpheres are currently being studied in the treatment of prostate and brain tumors. In the latter category, the device received breakthrough designation from the FDA earlier this year for its potential to target glioblastoma.