MEDICARE NOW COVERS CRYOSURGERY FOR PROSTATE CANCER
Irvine-based Endocare, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENDO), a developer of prostate cancer and prostatic stent technologies, announced recently that it has been informed by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) of the decision to implement national Medicare coverage for cryosurgical procedures for prostate cancer performed with FDA cleared devices. Endocare's Cryocare System, used for minimally invasive targeted cryoablation prostate cancer procedures, is the only temperature monitored cryosurgical system specifically cleared by the FDA for the treatment of prostate cancer.
"We have been working with HCFA for the last nine months to establish national coverage and implement a Medicare policy to provide reimbursement for cryosurgical procedures as a primary treatment alternative for localized prostate cancer," said Paul Mikus, president and chief executive officer. "We have been very encouraged by the open and clear process HCFA has developed to allow rapid and fair assessments of new technologies We believe this national coverage decision will provide a treatment alternative to millions of male Medicare beneficiaries suffering from prostate cancer."
The recommendation was made by HCFA following its review of scientific evidence on the medical effectiveness of cryosurgery for prostate cancer. HCFA rescinded the current Medicare national noncoverage instruction and issued a new coverage policy based on the recently compiled long-term results for the procedure.
John Long, M.D., Director of Urological Oncology at New England Medical Center, recently presented 800 patient, multi-site study in which targeted cryoablation was revealed as the equivalent to brachytherapy (the radioactive seed method) in low risk prostate cancer patients and superior to brachytherapy in high risk patients.
"Our most recent findings indicate that targeted cryoablation is indeed a viable prostate cancer treatment alternative," said Long. "Approximately 80% of the low-risk patients treated with targeted cryoablation are projected to remain disease free 5 years after their treatments."
Cancer of the prostate is the second most common malignancy in men and the third most common cause of death. In the U.S., the disease afflicts approximately five million men.
Learn more about Targeted Cryoablation as a treatment for prostate cancer and the Medicare and the treatment option's Medicare reimbursement status at Endocare's web site (www.ecare.org), or call the company directly at 949/ 595-4770.
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