IsoRay (AMEX: ISR), announced today that the first implantation for its cancer treatment product has been performed.
The company’s Cesium-131, a radioactive capsule that kills cancer cells, was implanted in a patient with lung cancer. Once inside the patient’s body, the capsule will release radioactive elements that will kill the surrounding cancer cells, while having no effect on healthy cells. Brachytherapy, as the treatment process is called, was used as an alternative because the patient did not have the lung capacity to undergo surgery.
According to IsoRay, over 222,500 Americans develop primary lung cancer each year and more than 100,000 cases of metastasized lung cancers (when the cancer has already spread to other sites) are diagnosed annually.
While originally developed to treat primary cancers, Cesium-131 is now also being used to treat metastasized cancers. Aside from lung cancer, the capsule is now being used to treat prostate, colon, ocular, head and neck cancers as well.
The company estimates that of the 218,890 men who will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010, about 20% will use brachytherapy.
Compared to other brachytherapy capsules, the Cesium-131 has reduced side effects and has a shorter decay time (9.7 days), the company said.
The capsule, which has already received FDA approval, has received wide interest from the medical community, said CEO of IsoRay Dwight Babcok.
The company’s share price rallied 4.3% to trade at $1.20 as of 1:50 pm ET.