Oslo, Norway, March 23, 2015: Photocure ASA (OSE: PHO), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on photodynamic technologies in dermatology and cancer, reports that Norwegian investigators have presented positive case studies with Hexvix blue-light flexible cystoscopy in the outpatient setting at the European Association of Urology (EAU) annual meeting in Madrid, Spain, on March 22nd, 2015. The EAU meeting is Europe’s largest annual event showcasing the latest and most relevant knowledge in urology, with more than 14,000 delegates and exhibitors from over 100 countries.
The research, presented as five video case presentations by Dr. Reza Zare, Head of Urology at Bærum Hospital, Norway, shows how Hexvix blue-light flexible cystoscopy achieved high-quality images, with improved visibility of tumors compared with standard white-light flexible cystoscopy alone. Hexvix blue-light flexible cystoscopy was convenient and well tolerated, with a high level of patient acceptance. The technology allowed for biopsies of suspicious areas of the bladder, and small tumors removed in outpatient procedures.
Dr. Zare explained the economical and practical importance of these findings: “By securing improved detection and limiting the number of patients who have to be referred to the operating room to have their tumors removed, we can avoid the need for general anesthesia and overnight hospital stays, thus taking the pressure off hospital services and reducing the burden of disease on patients.”
Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in Europe, accounting for an estimated 124,000 new cases and more than 40,000 deaths in 2012.1 Bladder cancer has a high recurrence rate - up to 78% of patients experience recurrence within 5 years of their initial diagnosis2 - causing patients to require lifelong surveillance. While Hexvix blue-light cystoscopy using rigid cystoscopes, as an adjunct to white-light cystoscopy, is already a standard of care in the operating room, with proven ability to improve detection and management of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer compared with white-light cystoscopy alone3 , Hexvix blue-light flexible cystoscopy is becoming increasingly feasible. Improvements in equipment allow for early detection of recurrent tumors and low-grade tumors to be removed in the outpatient setting without the need for referral to the operating room. In addition, early follow-up of patients with blue-light flexible cystoscopy following surgical removal of the tumor is likely to offer advantages in terms of improved detection of residual tumor and reduced recurrence.
Per-Uno Malmström, Professor of Urology at Uppsala University, Sweden, said: “Early and accurate bladder cancer detection and removal can reduce the risk of recurrence and avoid the need for frequent follow-up visits. With outpatient follow up of patients using blue-light cystoscopy with Hexvix, tumors can be detected at an early stage, and small or flat lesions can be removed without delay, which can be expected to improve the long-term prospects for patients.”
Fred Witjes, Chair of Oncological Urology at Radboud University, Netherlands, said: “In 2014, the European expert consensus panel updated our recommendations, emphasizing the potential benefits of blue-light flexible cystoscopy with advances in equipment, which will help to improve patients’ experience of bladder cancer care. I am delighted to see that these advances are being achieved, as witnessed by the experiences of Dr. Zare and his colleagues using Hexvix in the outpatient setting.”
More information on the EAU 2015 meeting can be found here: http://eaumadrid2015.uroweb.org/the-congress.
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1. Globocan. Incidence/mortality by population. Available at: http://globocan.iarc.fr/Pages/bar_pop_sel.aspx (accessed March 2015).
2. Sylvester RJ, van der Meijden AP, Oosterlinck W et al. Predicting recurrence and progression in individual patients with stage Ta T1 bladder cancer using EORTC risk tables: a combined analysis of 2596 patients from seven EORTC trials. Eur Urol 2006; 49: 466–475.
3. Burger M, Grossman HB, Droller M et al. Photodynamic diagnosis of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer with hexaminolevulinate cystoscopy: a meta-analysis of detection and recurrence based on raw data. Eur Urol 2013; 64: 846–854.
Hexvix®/Cysview® (hexaminolevulinate hydro-chloride) is an innovative breakthrough technology in the diagnosis and management of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. It is designed to selectively target malignant cells in the bladder and induce fluorescence during a cystoscopic procedure using a blue-light enabled cystoscope. Using Hexvix®/Cysview® as an adjunct to standard white-light cystoscopy enables the urologist to better detect and remove lesions, leading to a reduced risk of recurrence. Hexvix®/Cysview® is approved in Europe and the USA.