Quirem Medical offers an innovative cancer therapy based on the use of radioactive microspheres called QuiremSpheres®. The microspheres are classified as a medical device and are permanent biocompatible implants that treat liver metastases through intra-arterial radioembolisation.
As outpatient treatment, QuiremSpheres® are injected by a catheter in the liver artery and are transported by the blood flow to the tumor(s). QuiremSpheres® contain the radioactive isotope holmium-166, which is a high-energy beta-emitting isotope with gamma emission. The half-life is 26.7 hours. Their specific diameter, 30 micrometers, causes the radioactive microspheres to lodge preferentially in the microvasculature surrounding the tumor, maximising tumourcidal effects and minimising the effects on healthy liver parenchyma. Following administration, over 95% of the radiation is delivered in 5 days.
Once the microspheres have reached the tumor they will emit their beta radiation and destroy tumor cells, while the harmless gamma radiation passes through and out of the body and can be imaged by gamma-cameras. This unique property makes it possible to image the exact distribution of QuiremSpheres® inside the patient. Moreover, since the metal holmium can be seen on a MRI, also high resolution images on both the distribution of QuiremSpheres™ as well as the exact anatomical reference can be observed, resulting in detailed information about the dose that is given directly to the tumor tissue.
Images of a liver treated with QuiremSpheres® (Picture right)
Top: biodistribution of the microspheres measured with MRI.
Middle: biodistribution of the microspheres measured with SPECT. MR imaging enables higher resolution compared with SPECT.
Bottom: T1-weighted MR image showing tumor tissue (dark areas) inside the liver. High concentrations of microspheres are found at most of the tumor locations.
To quantify the distribution of QuiremSpheres® and support effective treatment planning & evaluation, Quirem Medical has developed proprietary dose quantification software, called QSW. This enables QuiremSpheres® to become a personalized cancer therapy resulting in the best quality of care for patients with liver tumors. QSW will be provided to run on a MS-Windows platform for straightforward processing of DICOM-formatted images and to enable image-guided dosimetry and personalized patient treatment planning. As QuiremSpheres® are radioactive, their usage is restricted to specialized facilities (medical institutions) and physicians duly qualified to handle therapeutic radiation. Only qualified and licensed medical doctors may administer QuiremSpheres®.
Quirem Medical will provide a (on-site) training program to physicians (radiologists, nuclear medicine specialists, other radiology staff) for handling and implanting QuiremSpheres®. QuiremSpheres® are administered by using a sophisticated and robust administration system that is easy to handle and will protect both patient and medical staff from undesired radiation dose during administration.