Healthcare Industry News:  cryoablation 

Devices Urology Oncology

 News Release - January 8, 2008

Journal of Urology Supplement Focuses on Focal Therapy as a Prostate Cancer Treatment

First Scientific Compendium Dedicated To Focal or 'Male Lumpectomy' Prostate Cancer Treatment

IRVINE, Calif., Jan. 8 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Endocare, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENDO ), an innovative medical device company focused on the development of minimally invasive technologies used by urologists and interventional radiologists for tissue and tumor ablation, announced today that a Gold Supplement to the December edition of the journal Urology is focused on a series of 12 peer-reviewed studies on the use of focal therapy in the treatment of prostate cancer. The studies were conducted by a group of leading urologists and radiologists led by David Bostwick, M.D., a pathologist specializing in urology, and Gary Onik, M.D., an interventional radiologist, both of whom served as co-editors of the supplement. This is the first published scientific compendium dedicated solely to focal prostate cancer treatment. One of the leading focal treatment methods is cryoablation, or the minimally invasive freezing of the cancerous tumors to destroy them.

The studies presented in the supplement cover a broad range of issues related to focal therapy for prostate cancer including cancer volume; patient selection; biopsy techniques to adequately find and diagnose the extent of the cancer and the long-term effectiveness of focal treatments.

In basic terms, focal therapy for prostate cancer, also known as "the male lumpectomy," is a new method of treating prostate cancer where the primary objective is to destroy the cancerous tissue in the prostate gland and avoid damaging the healthy tissue including the nerve bundles at the base of the gland that control potency and continence. In the current standard of care treatment for prostate cancer, the physician surgically removes the entire prostate gland and portions of the surrounding tissue.

Dr. Bostwick offers a parallel for discussion between the focal treatment for prostate cancer and a similar debate approximately 30 years ago between advocates of radical mastectomy and those who favored lumpectomy in appropriate breast cancer patients. He and Dr. Onik noted that their objective was to "generate spirited and thoughtful debate on focal therapy...It will be interesting in the next few years to watch how the growth of knowledge in this domain parallels that of lumpectomy for breast cancer. Will history repeat itself?"

Dr. Onik, one of the early pioneers of focal prostate cancer treatment using cryoablation, welcomes further study of the issue but maintains that, thanks to advances in targeting, diagnosing and cancer ablation modalities, the time has come to move away from the destruction of the entire prostate when treating prostate cancer.

"In this era, when male patients must choose between 'watchful waiting' and high morbidity whole gland treatments, a lumpectomy treatment, which has so markedly changed the management of breast cancer for women, would be a welcome addition to the male cancer population," Dr. Onik notes in his study.

Craig T. Davenport, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Endocare, commented, "This supplement explores the important issue of how to treat or kill the cancerous prostate tissue balanced with the increasing demand by patients to avoid or minimize becoming impotent or incontinent, whenever possible. Prostate cancer is being diagnosed in men at earlier and earlier ages and these men now are very concerned about the quality of their life following surgery. It is particularly gratifying that the unique attributes and advantages of cryoablation are being recognized as a significant option for many patients."

The supplement was based on the presentations and clinical discussions of a panel of leaders in the field of prostate cancer during a consensus conference. Along with studies by Dr. Bostwick and Dr. Onik, the supplement contains studies by Gerald L. Andriole, M.D. of Washington University School of Medicine; Duke K. Bahn, M.D. of the Prostate Institute of America; Daniel Rukstalis, M.D. of Geisinger Medical Center; Haakon Ragde, M.D., of Seattle-based Haakon Ragde Research Foundation and Harry B. Burke, M.D., Ph.D. of Bostwick Laboratories and George Washington University School of Medicine, among others.

Among the studies presented in the supplement are the following items:

-- A study by Dr. Onik determined that focal cryoablation can "provide good cancer control while limiting morbidity" and that a male lumpectomy treatment would be "a welcome addition to the male cancer population." A total of 86 percent of the patients remained potent and of 54 patients without previous prostate surgery or radiation therapy, all were continent.

-- A study by David S. Ellis, M.D. of Urology Associates of North Texas of patients who underwent focal cryoablation as primary treatment for localized prostate cancer concluded that it is an effective treatment with minimal side effects when combined with penile rehabilitation.

-- A group of physicians led by Dr. Andriole evaluated the best ways to biopsy the prostate including the prospects for a novel transrectal systematic biopsy approach. Their research concluded there is "an urgent need to perform better ultrasound-guided biopsies" because current techniques "are often lacking in their ability to discover clinically significant prostate cancer" and to characterize the size and location of the cancer.

It is noteworthy that, in addition to this supplement, during the month of February there will be three medical conferences that will include presentations and discussions by leading urologists on focal treatment. On February 2-4 Allegheny General Hospital is sponsoring the Advances and Controversies in Cryotherapy Conference which will review the state of the art for focal cryoablation. On February 10 the First International Conference on Targeted Focal Therapy will be held as part of the 18th International Prostate Cancer Update sponsored by the University of Colorado and E. David Crawford, M.D. On February 21-22 Duke University will sponsor the First International Workshop on Focal Therapy and Imaging of Prostate Cancer.

About Endocare

Endocare, Inc. -- http://www.endocare.com -- is an innovative medical device company focused on the development of minimally invasive technologies for tissue and tumor ablation. Endocare has initially concentrated on developing technologies for the treatment of prostate cancer and believes that its proprietary technologies have broad applications across a number of markets, including the ablation of tumors in the kidney, lung and liver and palliative intervention (treatment of pain associated with metastases).

Statements contained in this release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Among the important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those discussed in "Risk Factors" in the Company's Forms 10-K, Forms 10-Q, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such risk factors include, but are not limited to, uncertainty regarding the effects of the studies described in this press release and any future follow up data. The actual results that the Company achieves may differ materially from any forward-looking statements due to such risks and uncertainties. The Company undertakes no obligation to revise, or update publicly, any forward-looking statements for any reason.


Source: Endocare

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