BTG, Philips roll out first cancer embolic bead visible via real-time imaging

First patient treated with LC Bead LUMI radiopaque embolic bead supported by Philips live image guidance--Courtesy of Philips

Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that blocks blood vessels in order to impede blood flow and enable the shrinkage of hypervascularized tumors. It's a common approach used in tough-to-treat cancers such as those in the liver or kidney when surgical removal isn't an option. But until now, interventional radiologists and oncologists had no means to be certain that when embolic beads were placed into blood vessels at the precise, intended location or that they remained there over time.

But now, partners BTG ($BTG) and Royal Philips ($PHG) have treated the first liver cancer patient with their recently approved LC Bead Lumi that is visible via imaging and can be used during an embolization procedure as well as afterward to monitor that the embolic beads remain in their intended location.

The FDA cleared the LC Bead Lumi in December for the embolization of hypervascular tumors and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), using BTG's LC Bead--that isn't visible via imaging--as a predicate.

"The aim with this new radiopaque embolic bead and visualization technology is to provide clinicians like me the ability to make real-time adjustments while conducting the embolization procedure, so that we can optimize patients' treatment and hopefully improve targeting accuracy," said Dr. Bradford Wood, director of the NIH Center for Interventional Oncology and Chief of Interventional Radiology, in a statement.

"It is reassuring for the clinician and the patient to know that the treatment was delivered exactly where it was aimed, and where it was needed. Treating the first patient using LC Bead Lumi in combination with dedicated Philips 2D X-ray and 3D CBCT image guidance is a milestone in our public-private partnership with both of our industry research partners."

BTG's LC Bead is a preformed, deformable microsphere consisting of a biocompatible, sulphonate-modified, N-Fil hydrogel. The LC Bead Lumi is a radiopaque iteration of that.

Liver cancer is one of the most difficult to treat cancers, with few useful surgical or pharmaceutical options. More than 700,000 patients are diagnosed with liver cancer globally each year.

"Several years ago, we began scientific collaboration with Philips to evaluate the benefits of better image-guided therapy and this venture resulted in the ability to calibrate Philips' imaging software to LC Bead Lumi," said BTG Interventional Oncology General Manager Peter Pattison. "The clinical impact of the BTG-Philips collaboration is now helping interventional radiologists and multi-disciplinary teams make enhanced treatment decisions for patients with liver cancer."

- here is the announcement

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