MedValue: “High Interest from key opinion leaders to implement HyperCollar3D for Re-radiation of H&N Cancer”
The prognosis of head-and-neck patients is poor with an overall 5-year survival of 50%. In order to improve the survival of these patients, several studies have been performed that utilize hyperthermia as a sensitizer for radiotherapy treatment. Recent research has shown that hyperthermia can improve tumor control for head-and-neck cancer. MedValue, a science company assessing added value of medical technology, studied available evidence on thermal therapy to treat Head and Neck cancer.
MedValue concluded a clear need for thermal therapy as addition to the palliative treatments, patients with a recurrent tumor or bulky tumors with large lymphatic nodes, because the current treatment options are limited. The HyperCollar3D from Sensius can provide this type of thermal therapy. Doctors indicated to be willing to apply the new options that the HyperCollar3D creates, without further research.
Stakeholders argued that thermal therapy may even replace chemotherapy
As part of this study, MedValue interviewed 10 key stakeholders involved in the treatment of head-and-neck cancer: otorhinolaryngologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, medical oncologists and ear-nose-throat-doctors. These stakeholders argued that thermal therapy may even replace chemotherapy if efficacy is equal, mainly due to the systemic complications that occur in chemotherapy treatment.
Sensius reflects on this conclusion as a recognition of the value of the HyperCollar3D. “Yet, it is our ambition to work with the clinical team to jointly create additional evidence to include primary treatment as well”, says Paul van den Biggelaar, CEO of Sensius. “The absence of additional side-effects will give patients and physicians better treatment options towards prolonged life and quality of life”.
Additional research from MedValue, applying the early Health Technology Assessment methodology, further revealed the implementation of thermal therapy in the current treatment program has the potential to improve the health effects (QALY: survival and/or Quality of Life), although these advantages come at the expense of a higher treatment cost. The incremental cost-effective ratio was significantly below the Dutch QALY threshold in various simulations. “The research of MedValue clearly concluded a contribution in treatment outcome and health economics. This strengthens our ambition to make the HyperCollar3D available to clinics worldwide.”, according to Paul van den Biggelaar.
Gerard van Rhoon receives Robinson Award
Gerard van Rhoon was honored by receiving the 28th J. Eugene Robinson1 award, which is the most prestigious price of the Annual Congress of the Society for Thermal Medicine (STM). STM is the American equivalent of the European Society of Hyperthermic Oncology (ESHO). The award is presented each year to an investigator who has made outstanding contributions to the field of hyperthermic oncology. He is the first non-medical specialist from Europe who is receives the Robinson award. It reflects the great recognition by the STM for the work of current ESHO president Gerard. The award was given by a previous winner Prof Paul Stauffer of Thomas Jefferson University, whom lauded Gerard as one of the “founding fathers of hyperthermia”.
Sarah Brueningk receives Sensius Award at ESHO2017
At ESHO2017 in Athens, Sarah Brueningk received the Sensius Young Investigator Award for her presentation “Simulating response to multimodality therapies in vitro – towards modelling of virtual patient treatments”. She proposes a framework that offers great flexibility in modelling treatment combinations in different scenarios. It may be used to compare different treatment schedules to combine radiotherapy and thermal therapy. Sarah is a PhD student at the Institute of Cancer Research in London (UK).
Rotterdam, 7 july 2017
Sensius receives first investment from UNIIQ for the HyperCollar3D
Sensius, an Erasmus MC Spinoff company developing novel cancer treatment using hyperthermia, is receiving €300,000 from the UNIIQ investment fund and Erasmus MC. Using this investment, Sensius can make an important step forward to provide better treatment options for patients with head and neck cancer. The investment was announced by Liduina Hammer, Fund Manager UNIIQ and Thijs Spigt, Director Erasmus MC TTO, during the Life Sciences@Work ExpertClass2 in Rotterdam.
Deep thermal therapy with the HyperCollar3D
The current treatment methods for people diagnosed with head and neck cancer still yield 50% recurrence of the tumor and a low quality of life due to negative side effects of the existing therapy.
Sensius collaborates with the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, that has developed the HyperCollar3D after years of research to the positive effects of thermal therapy. It is proven that accurate controlled delivery of microwave hyperthermia in combination with chemotherapy or radiotherapy improves the chances of patients to get cured with more than 50%.
“Patients need better treatment options”
Sensius will work with the international medical community to turn the research and prototyping of Erasmus MC into a commercial product. “Patients need better treatment options”, says Paul van den Biggelaar, co-founder and CEO of Sensius, “the HyperCollar3D clearly offers better chances for patients, without negative side effects. The support from UNIIQ brings this improvement closer to patients worldwide.”
“At UNIIQ, we enable promising innovations”, says Liduina Hammer, Fund manager at UNIIQ”. “The Hypercollar3D developed by Sensius is an excellent example of such an innovation with an important contribution to value for society. With the support of UNIIQ, Sensius will further show the business viability of this important improvement in cancer therapy”.
With the investment by UNIIQ and Erasmus MC, Sensius will collaborate with physicians to detail the requirements of the therapy to include thermal therapy in the standard treatment protocol for head and neck cancer. Based on the results of completed clinical studies Sensius will work to enable cancer centers to start adding thermal treatment for late stage cancer patients within a few years.
UNIIQ is a € 22 million investment fund focused on the proof-of-concept phase. UNIIQ helps entrepreneurs in the province of South Holland bring their unique innovation to market faster. UNIIQ offers entrepreneurs the seed money to realize their plans, and bridges the riskiest phase from concept to promising business.
A consortium, including Erasmus MC, TU Delft, Leiden University and the regional development agency InnovationQuarter, created the fund. UNIIQ is made possible by the European Union, the Province of Zuid-Holland and the municipalities of Rotterdam, The Hague and Leiden. InnovationQuarter is responsible for the fund management.
Watch a short introduction to UNIIQ here: https://youtu.be/Ix9VZUsHlyU
Aarau, 1 January 2017
Swiss reimburse hyperthermia treatments
Swiss health authorities have decided to include treatment of cancer through a combination of radiotherapy and hyperthermia in core coverage of health insurance. This implies that since 1 January 2017, treatment with hyperthermia in addition to radiotherapy is fully reimbursed for 9 curative and palliative cancer indications for Swiss patients.
This important recognition of the relevance of hyperthermia for cancer patients is largely to be contributed to the mission of prof. Stephan Bodis and his team from Kantonspitaler Aarau and Baden. He leads the “Swiss Hyperthermia Network”, a collaboration of 15 clinics to jointly discuss the best treatment options for patients. Through their efforts, hyperthermia treatment is now an additional option, providing an improved chance for individual patients on a better treatment outcome and quality of life.
Sensius contributes to control of cost of health care
Dutch Cancer Foundation (KWF) has collected 18 innovative ideas to keep cancer treatments economically accessible to all patients. This set of new business models has been offered to the Secretary of Health, Mrs. Schippers on 1 December. “I appreciate the efforts of KWF to initiate discussions about obstacles in oncology, particularly because they also create proposals how to solve these issues. We need to collaborate to ensure that new therapies for oncology remain economically accessible in the future”, says Secretary of Health Mrs. Schippers.
Michel Rudolphie, director of KWF, offered the set of innovative business models to the Secretary of Health. It also includes the approach of Sensius to make thermal therapy of Head and Neck tumors available at zero cost. When thermal therapy from Sensius is added to the primary treatment of Head and Neck tumors, the savings on reduction of treatment of recurring tumors is equal to the extra cost of the therapy. You can download the entire report from the KWF website.
Utrecht, 28 November 2016
Valerio Fortunati wins award based on contribution to HyperCollar3D
STW in the Netherlands has attributed Valerio Fortunati with the title “Simon Stevin Gezel 2016”. He is awarded for his thesis work on automatic patient modelling in hyperthermia treatment planning. Through his work, different tissue types can be recognized from a CT scan with higher accuracy and with significant speed improvements. This secures a better treatment plan and a higher efficiency for the clinic.
Valerio Fortunati was born in Rome and got his masters degree at the Rijksuniveriteit Groningen. He joined the Biomedical Imaging Group Rotterdam, a collaboration between the departments Medical Informatics and Radiology of Erasmus MC in 2011, focusing on hyperthermia treatment planning.
“Using the tool improves the clinical routine: not only by speeding up the process of modelling, but also by having a more precise and more consistent model over all patients” explains Valerio about his results. Sensius will work with the team at Erasmus MC to make his work available for patient treatment all over the world.
Amersfoort, 27 june 2016
Sensius: “Hyperthermia for H&N can be introduced without additional cost”
At a special event of KWF Kankerbestrijding (DCI) on Business Models for the Future, Sensius presented its case to improve quality of life and life expectancy for patients with Head&Neck Cancer. Studies have revealed the significant improvement that can be achieved through the addition of hyperthermia to the current standard treatment. At this moment, 40% of all treatment costs are devoted to treatment of recurrence after primary treatment. Addition of hyperthermia to the primary treatment will cut this component in half. Savings in total treatment cost outweight the additional costs of hyperthermia in the primary treatment.
“Addition of hyperthermia to the primary treatment will be highly beneficial for the patient, without adding cost to the total health care system”, says Paul van den Biggelaar, CEO of Sensius. The impact of H&N cancer is significant for patients. As soon as thermal therapy is added to the standard treatment of H&N cancers, patients will have a much better perspective to quality of life and a higher life expectancy.
The poster can be downloaded here.
Erasmus MC reveals promising early clinical results on HYPERcollar3D
At ESHO 2015 in Zurich, Netteke van Holthe shared early experience with the HYPERcollar3D applicator as radiosensitizer for tumors in the head and neck region. Van Holthe MD is a physician and medical coordinator of hyperthermia in the Department of Radiation Oncology Hyperthermia Unit Erasmus MC Cancer Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Erasmus MC Cancer Institute is already engaged for over a decade to provide deep hyperthermia treatment to patients with tumors in the head and
neck area. With their first H&N hyperthermia device, the HYPERcollar, nearly 50 patients were treated. In a recent study on follow up, promising outcomes were reported.
Based on the experience with the HYPERcollar, a new version of the treatment applicator was developed to improve treatment reproducibility and heat focus, as well as patient comfort: the HYPERcollar3D. Since its clinical introduction, six patients have been treated with the HYPERcollar3D. Four patients had a complete response after 3 months, one patient had a local response but died from metastatic disease within 3 months and one patient has no evidence of disease after post-operative treatment.
Van Holthe: “Experience in the first six patients shows that the HYPERcollar3D is a powerful hyperthermia device”.
Erasmus MC is using their advanced treatment modeling and software control to further reduce toxicity. Treatment of more patients and a longer follow-up is required to establish the clinical benefit and further improve this type of treatment. Based on the results, the clinic is confident about the great potential of hyperthermia with the HYPERcollar3D in head and neck oncology and will continue its efforts in this treatment.
Spin off: Collaboration Erasmus MC and Sensius
Erasmus MC Cancer Institute and Sensius BV have signed an agreement to collaborate on the advancement of head and neck cancer treatment through hyperthermia. Erasmus MC Cancer Institute has developed a unique system for this approach, to be used in combination with radiotherapy: the chances for a positive outcome with this system are higher than application of just radiotherapy.
“Treatment options for head and neck tumours are limited when taking recurrence into account”, says Prof. G. van Rhoon PhD, chair of the research group hyperthermia at the Erasmus MC Cancer Institute. “With our solution we aim to increase the chances on a positive outcome and eventually create more treatment options”. Erasmus MC will seek collaboration with international clinics to jointly define and execute an international patient study.
Thermal Therapy as treatment modality
“Hyperthermia clearly offers better chances for patients”, says Paul van den Biggelaar, CEO and co-founder of Sensius. “Cancer clinics should apply this modality more often when there are proven good methods and solutions. Erasmus MC offers such method and solution. Based on the technology of Erasmus MC, Sensius will now start the development and production of a solution that allows for wide adoption of treatment of head and neck cancers with thermal therapy.”
InnovationQuarter as matchmaker
Sensius is a co-founded by Lavoisier, a network to connect technical developments in the clinical field to entrepreneurs in order to enable new products. Lonneke Baas, program manager Life Sciences and Health at Innovation Quarter, was matchmaker between Erasmus MC, Sensius and Lavoiser: “The value of the research can only be translated to a positive yield for patients if this is done in collaboration with a company. Medical technology demands a special approach. Lavoisier has a track record in this approach”, says Lonneke Baas.
Erasmus MC is the largest University Medical Center and most leading institute in science in its kind in the Netherlands. Nearly 13 000 employees work in patient care, education and research continuously to improve individual patient care and cure in general. The develop state of the art knowledge, transfer this knowledge to future professionals and apply this knowledge in day-to-day care for patients. In five years to come, Erasmus MC wants to become one of the best medical institutes of the word. Erasmus MC is part of the Dutch Federation of University Medical Centers (NFU, www. nfu.nl)
InnovationQuarter is the regional economic development agency for the Dutch region of West Holland. The mission of InnovationQuarter is to strengthen the regional economy by supporting and stimulating the innovation potential of the area. In close cooperation with all major corporations, educational and research institutions – like the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Delft University of Technology and Leiden University – and government organisations, InnovationQuarter supports technological developments, encourages entrepreneurship and invests in start-up companies.