WICHITA, Kan., Aug. 21, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NeoTherma Oncology (NTO), developer of an advanced bioelectric medical device for noninvasive treatment of serious cancers, today announced the Company was recently awarded Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This Phase I award provides resources to enable ‘Quantifiable Thermal Therapy Using Magnetic Resonance Thermometry Imaging’.  Under terms of the grant, NTO will work closely with researchers from the Department of Radiology and Imaging Science, Utah Center for Advanced Imaging and Research at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

“This grant demonstrates NCI’s recognition of the importance of our development of noninvasive Magnetic Resonance Thermometry Imaging (MRTI) techniques in partnership with Dr. Dennis Parker’s team at the Utah Center for Advanced Imaging Research (UCAIR),” stated Michael Wandell, NTO’s Chief Executive Officer. “NCI’s support of this collaboration results from a combination of our encouraging pre-clinical studies and a growing interest in MRI-guided thermal treatment as a safe and effective, non-invasive adjuvant therapy for serious tumors found deep in the body.”

In April 2017, NTO announced that the FDA had designated its VectRx™ thermal oncology treatment platform a ‘Breakthrough Therapy’ for Pancreatic Cancer, expediting patient access to this novel adjuvant therapy [1]. Further, in May 2017 NTO presented its pre-clinical results at the annual meeting of the Society for Thermal Medicine demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of radiofrequency generated heat delivery to deep organs in a large animal model.

“It is clear that non-invasive treatment and thermal monitoring using available clinical MRIs would be beneficial as well as preferable to cancer patients,” commented UCAIR’s Dr. Dennis Parker. “Our engineering experience combined with the advanced medical device development expertise of the NTO team bodes well for the successful development of a useful tool to help in the treatment of deep solid tumors such as those seen in pancreatic cancer.”

Key objectives in this phase 1 program are to develop MRTI techniques to guide thermal treatment applications in the abdomen and support the integration of the temperature information into cancer treatment planning. 

About NeoTherma Oncology

NeoTherma Oncology is developing VectRx™, a noninvasive thermal oncology therapeutic device system for treatment of a wide range of cancers in addition to Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma, the eighth most common cancer but the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.  VectRx is designed to ‘plug and play’ with the global installed base of MRI scanners to deliver non-invasive, image-guided adjuvant thermal oncology therapy, which is expected to increase life expectancy and improve quality of life of patients who receive it in addition to standard-of-care radio-, chemo- and immuno- therapies.

Contact: Erik Miller - Cell: +1-512-461-0197; emiller@neothermaoncology.com

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[1] Messmer and Cumming, “21st Century Cures Act: Innovation, Breakthroughs, and Research in Under-Represented Populations”, Evidera|PPD®, The Evidence Forum, Nov. 2017, https://www.evidera.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/02-21st-Century-Cures-Act-Innovation-Breakthroughs-and-Research_2017Nov.pdf