Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG, Mick Radio-Nuclear Instruments, WOLF-Medizintechnik (WOmed)

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Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG brings its first afterloader to Ecuador

Seneffe, Belgium, April 19, 2016. Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG installed its first HDR brachytherapy afterloader, a SagiNova® system, in Ecuador at the Instituto del Cáncer SOLCA Cuenca.

The Instituto del Cáncer SOLCA Cuenca is part of the Sociedad de Lucha Contra el Cancer (Society to Fight Cancer), a private organization that provides a public service to combat cancer in Ecuador. The society operates several clinics in Ecuador and plans to further extend its radiotherapy services.

The SagiNova® afterloader bought by SOLCA Cuenca was launched in 2015 and is the successor of MultiSource®, which was first installed in Latin America in 2009.  According to Dr. Harald Hasselmann, Managing Director of Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG, "following our successful strategy and the launch of SagiNova®, we plan to have an Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG HDR afterloader installed in almost every Latin American country by next year."

At SOLCA Cuenca, SagiNova® is already in clinical use for the treatment of gynecological cancers. "SagiNova® had two unbeatable features which made us choose the device: the cobalt-60 source combined with Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG's long history of experience with cobalt-60 and also the integrated In-Vivo Dosimetry for the treatment of gynecological cancers", explains Dr. Humberto Quito, Radiotherapy Department Director.

With cervical cancers being among the top three incidences in Ecuador, SOLCA Cuenca expects to treat four to five new patients a month. "We already have a waiting list and expect the number of patients to rise significantly within the coming months" adds Dr. Quito.

Dr. José Luis Molina, Dr. Humberto Quito, Dr. Byron Alvarez and Dr. Felipe Murillo with SagiNova®

About High Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy
HDR brachytherapy allows radiation oncologists to deliver the radiation quickly, most often as an outpatient procedure. During this procedure a computer driven apparatus, called a remote afterloading device, pushes the radioactive source attached to a drive wire through transfer tubes and applicators to the treatment site. The radioactive source can be moved in millimeter increments and remain in a certain position (dwell position) for a predetermined amount of time to optimize the dose delivered. When the desired treatment dose has been achieved, the remote afterloading device automatically withdraws the radioactive source so there is no residual radiation or radioactivity.
HDR brachytherapy has been used since the 1960s and today is applied to treat cancers in body sites such as gynecological, rectal, prostate and breast. The procedure enables an accurate and precise tumor-specific radiation dose delivery in a shorter course of treatment compared to other types of radiation treatment modalities while preserving the structure and function of the organ(s) treated and nearby.

About LDR brachytherapy
In this form of treatment, small radioactive iodine-125 sources, so called seeds, are placed inside the prostate. By placing the seeds evenly throughout the organ, the prostate is covered with the designated dose required to destroy the cancerous cells. Since irradiation is mainly localized around the radioactive source, neighboring tissues are spared unnecessary damage.
LDR or permanent brachytherapy is the most conservative treatment method for early-stage prostate cancer. Its international popularity has increased continuously since the early 1990s and it is now generally accepted as a state-of-the art therapy. Prostate seed implantation is an effective and well-tolerated method for curing prostate cancer. The cure rates are comparable to the ones of external beam radiation therapy and prostatectomy for early-stage prostate cancer.

About Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG
Contributing to saving lives!
Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG is a European-based group active in the medical device segment of the health care industry. Its core business is the production and distribution of medical products for the treat­ment of cancer using brachytherapy. The company's headquarters are in Belgium, with production facilities in Germany and in the USA, as well as subsidiaries throughout Europe, the USA, India and Brazil. In addition, Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG has a worldwide network of distributors and agents to support the international marketing and distribution of its product line. The company's products and equipment are intended for use by oncologists, radiotherapists, urologists, ophthalmologists and medical physicists.
Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG employs approximately 150 people. The company has been listed on the Euronext stock exchange since April 1997.

Annica Witt
Marketing Communication Manager