L.A. Zoo Announces Successful Cancer Treatment of Rhinoceros with Electronic Brachytherapy

News Release
November 16, 2009

**MEDIA ADVISORY**
CONTACT: Elizabeth Leider / Elizabeth.leider@lacity.org
(323) 644-4273

Randa, an Indian Rhinoceros, was Treated for Skin Cancer Under the Horn with FDA-Cleared X-Ray Treatment Tool Designed to Spare Healthy Tissue

    L.A. Zoo Announces Successful Cancer Treatment of Rhinoceros with Electronic Brachytherapy:     Randa, an Indian rhinoceros at the Los Angeles Zoo, receives treatment for skin cancer under the horn with a breakthrough cancer treatment platform designed by Xoft. Inc.
L.A. Zoo Announces Successful Cancer Treatment of Rhinoceros with Electronic Brachytherapy: Randa, an Indian rhinoceros at the Los Angeles Zoo, receives treatment for skin cancer under the horn with a breakthrough cancer treatment platform designed by Xoft. Inc.

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Zoo announced that Randa, a 40-year-old Indian rhinoceros, has successfully completed treatment for skin cancer using a breakthrough cancer treatment platform designed to deliver electronic, x-ray based therapy directly to cancer sites with minimal radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.

Randa was recently diagnosed with recurrent squamous cell carcinoma under her horn, a form of skin cancer. To deliver Randa’s treatment, Zoo veterinary staff worked closely with oncology surgeons and radiation oncologists from UCLA Medical Center, as well as scientists from Xoft, Inc., makers of the Axxent® Electronic Brachytherapy, eBx™, System. Her treatments were in two sessions, or radiation fractions. Since the eBx treatment does not use a radioactive isotope, it can be performed without the need for a lead shielded room. This enabled the Zoo veterinarians and radiation oncologists from UCLA to remain with Randa during treatment, ensuring her safety and the accurate delivery of treatment.

“We are very happy with the outcome of Randa’s cancer treatment and her recovery. After the treatment sessions were completed, she quickly returned to her normal attitude; acting years younger and entertaining Zoo visitors,” said Leah Greer, DVM and Randa’s primary veterinarian at the L.A. Zoo. “When you’re talking about a 4,000 pound animal, you have to balance the safety of the animal and the safety of the Zoo staff with the logistics of the treatment. In Randa’s case, we clearly wanted to eradicate the cancer, but we had to consider where the treatment could be performed and how long it would take. The ability to roll the fully functional Electronic Brachytherapy cancer treatment system into Randa’s habitat gave us the ability to provide quick, safe and accurate treatment. I don’t know that we would have been able to reach such a positive prognosis without it, as there is no way we could have transported Randa to a traditional lead shielded room for radiation treatment.”

“We were extremely proud to work with the Zoo’s veterinarians in the planning and treatment management of Randa. Although the coordination of care was very complex, the treatment delivery of the electronic brachytherapy went very smoothly,” said Michael Steinberg, MD, chair of the UCLA department of radiation oncology. “We recently had incorporated this groundbreaking electronic brachytherapy treatment option for patients in our clinic at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and we were particularly gratified to bring its benefits of this technology to our colleagues at the L.A. Zoo.”

Designed for the delivery of radiation oncology in medical and veterinary practices, the Axxent System is cleared by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for accelerated treatment of early stage breast cancer, skin cancer and endometrial indications. As a platform technology, the Axxent System is designed to deliver non-radioactive therapy directly to cancer sites with minimal radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue.
“We are proud to make our Electronic Brachytherapy technology available to treat Randa and are especially pleased that she recovered so quickly,” said Michael Klein, Xoft president and CEO. “Through its use in the treatment of breast and endometrial cancers, Electronic Brachytherapy has shown the proven ability to deliver a high treatment dose to a cancer tumor while sparing nearby normal tissue. It is very gratifying that advancements in treating cancer in people can now lead to improvements in animal care as well – at the Zoo and in general veterinary practices.”

“I am especially proud to be part of the team that performed this ground breaking new technology on Randa. We are definitely seeing positive results post treatment and hope that it results in a permanent cure with no recurrence. This case is a perfect example of how tremendous the community support is for the L.A. Zoo and I am especially thankful to all those involved in making this a successful procedure,” said Dr. Curtis Eng, Los Angeles Zoo chief veterinarian.

About the Los Angeles Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $13 for adults and $8 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L. A. Zoo Web site at http://www.lazoo.org

About Xoft, Inc.

Xoft, founded in 1998, develops Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx) systems based upon miniaturized X-ray tube technology for the practice of radiation oncology in virtually any clinical setting, eliminating the need for heavily shielded environments. The Axxent treatment platform provides a therapeutic dose of radiation directly to the region at risk with minimal radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue and without the complex handling, resource logistics and costs associated with using radioactive isotopes. Xoft aligns with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) directive to seek alternatives for radioactive medical isotopes. For more information, visit http://www.xoftinc.com

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Axxent is a registered trademark and eBx is a trademark of Xoft, Inc.

“Nurturing wildlife and enriching the human experience”

Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive
Los Angeles
California 90027
323/644-4273
Fax 323/644-4240

Homepage

John R. Lewis
Zoo Director

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  11. This is a wonderful story to hear about! its very exciting to see the advances in Cancer treatment and their various applications. Thank you for posting this story for us to read and learn from.

  12. This was a delightful story to read. I am exited to see the breakthroughs that we will achieve within the next 10-15 years, within regards to curing cancer & beyond.

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