May 4, 2009
Contact: Liz Dowling, (800) 386-0157
Dowling & Dennis Public Relations
Minimally Invasive Alternative to Lumpectomy Reduces Risks
SAN DIEGO – A panel at the recent meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons included discussion of the advantages of a new laser treatment for fibroadenomas, the most common form of benign breast tumor. Novilase™ therapy makes it possible to treat these non-cancerous tumors while minimizing risks and maintaining the breast’s natural shape and feel.
Among the panelists was Kambiz Dowlat, M.D., a professor of surgery at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Dowlat pioneered laser treatment of small breast tumors. The procedure he developed is now performed with the Novilase™ Interstitial Laser Therapy device.
“With the X-ray guided laser technology we have today, lumpectomy is overkill,”said Dr. Dowlat. “Lumpectomy creates a significant scar and can deform the breast when you take the tumor out. Fibroadenomas can be precisely ablated with a laser, giving a superior result and less medical risk than lumpectomy. This is a great boon for patients because they can have their benign tumors treated without significant consequences for their health or appearance.”
Dr. Dowlat noted that breast health is moving toward treatments, such as Novilase, that are less invasive and have fewer side effects.Tumors are now being detected at earlier stages when they are smaller. Because laser therapy is less intimidating for most women, the procedure provides them with a third treatment option besides surgery and a “watch and wait” approach.
Dr. Dowlat’s remarks emphasized several benefits of laser treatment over lumpectomy surgery, the traditional approach to treating fibroadenomas:
• Minimal scarring. Because no incision is made or scalpel used, laser treatment generally leaves only minimal scars.
• Natural shape and feel maintained. There is no “dimpling” with laser treatment because unlike a lumpectomy, the procedure does not remove tissue. In addition,the body’s natural healing process repairs the tumor site and restores the breast’s natural feel within a year.
• Less risk of adverse reaction. Laser treatment can be performed using local anesthetic. A lumpectomy often requires IV sedation or a general anesthetic,which is riskier.
• Less infection risk. The procedure involves the insertion of a laser probe and a thermal probe through two 1/8- inch skin nicks. The small size of the nicks keeps the infection risk extremely low. In contrast, a lumpectomy uses a 2 inch-to-3inch incision, which creates a greater risk of infection.
• Faster recovery. A patient can resume normal activity within a few hours of the
procedure. Recovery from a lumpectomy can take several days.
About 10 percent of all women will experience fibroadenomas during their lifetime. Although not cancerous, fibroadenomas can cause physical discomfort and also anxiety because of the association of lumps with breast cancer. Thus, after consultation with their physicians, most women with this condition request that their fibroadenomas be removed.
While Novilase is the first breast procedure to use direct laser ablation to treat fibroadenomas, laser ablation has been successfully used to treat benign prostate tumors since the early 1990s. Novilase also uses the same stereotactic (X-ray) guidance that has been trusted for more than a decade for breast biopsy.
The Novilase device is made by Novian Health (Chicago, Ill.), a company Dr.Dowlat founded.
For the initial use of the Novilase technology, Novian Health sought and received FDA 510(k) clearance for the treatment of fibroadenomas of up to 2 cm.
The 10th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons was held April 22-26 in San Diego.
About Novian Health
Novian Health is a Chicago-based, privately held company with proprietary technology for the treatment of tumors using Interstitial Laser Therapy. The company has developed, tested, and patented a minimally invasive procedure, Novilase,which uses ILT (controlled heating) for the ablation of breast tumors. Novian Health has received its first FDA 510(k) clearance for fibroadenomas and anticipates it will commence a trial later this year in connection with seeking FDA approval for a malignant indication. Novian Health is commercializing its new technology primarily through independent breast centers, hospitals, and radiology groups, andsecondarily through Novilase-branded centers of excellence in select markets.
To learn more about Novilase Breast Therapy, visit www.novianhealth.com.