Atlanta, GA (April 11, 2012) – Therakos, Inc., a pioneer in the development of an innovative therapy called extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP), today launched Lighting Up Lives in the U.S., a year-long global initiative marking the 25-year anniversary of the introduction of ECP for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The campaign honors the lives of CTCL patients impacted by ECP, as well as the healthcare professionals, caregivers and treatment centers that support them every step of the way. By providing CTCL patients who are unresponsive to other therapies with an alternative to pills or topical treatments, this well-tolerated option has helped many live their lives, and not be defined by their disease. Therakos encourages everyone to join the celebration at www.lightinguplives.com.
Lighting Up Lives debuts in the U.S. at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) in Atlanta, GA, taking place from April 11-14, 2012. Attendees at the 2012 ASFA Annual Meeting are invited to learn more about Lighting Up Lives, including how they can participate, at the Therakos booth (#12).
“ECP transformed the way CTCL patients were treated when it was introduced 25 years ago, and its continued value today solidifies the importance of this option for CTCL patients in need,” said Daniel R. Couriel, M.D., director of the Allogeneic Transplant Program and Stem Cell Collection at University of Michigan. “The longevity of ECP is a direct result of the positive impact it has had on the lives of CTCL patients.”
Impact of ECP Therapy for CTCL Patients
Since introduced in 1987, ECP has been used to help CTCL patients, which is often misdiagnosed and treated unsuccessfully because it shares many of the same symptoms as other more common skin conditions. Because of the extended diagnosis process, by the time patients are diagnosed with CTCL they can often be exhibiting visible and debilitating skin symptoms, which can have a significant impact on many everyday activities that are taken for granted.[i][ii] For patients living with this disease, ECP can be an effective treatment by helping to restore the body’s natural ability to maintain a balanced immune system by controlling the activity of overactive immune cells.
“ECP is one of the many therapies that helped to improve the condition and overall quality of life for CTCL patients,” said Jennifer Viano, Chief Exective Officer of the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation. “We’re pleased to share in the 25-year celebration of cutaneous lymphoma patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals through their Lighting Up Lives campaign.”
Therakos was the first company to make ECP available to patients through its THERAKOS® Photopheresis integrated systems. Since introducing this innovative technology 25 years ago, Therakos has made it possible for more than 700,000[iii] ECP treatments to have been administered worldwide.
“Doctors, nurses, technicians, family caregivers and advocates play an essential role in the well-being of CTCL patients who receive and benefit from ECP therapy. We are honored to recognize their contributions for the past 25 years and share this milestone with them through the Lighting Up Lives campaign.” said David Sholehvar, General Manager, Therakos, Inc.
In the U.S., Therakos currently markets the only approved integrated systems for ECP and is backed by a longstanding proven track record of safety and efficacy. The 25th anniversary of ECP marks an important milestone in the commitment by Therakos to improve the lives of patients diagnosed with CTCL.
About Lighting Up Lives
For 25 years, a therapy called extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) has been playing a vital role by providing patients unresponsive to other therapies with an alternative to pills or topical treatments as they look to live their life, not their disease. In honor of this silver anniversary and the company's longstanding commitment to pioneering this technology, Therakos has launched Lighting Up Lives – a commitment From Therakos – a global initiative that pays tribute to all of doctors, nurses, technicians, caregivers and patients across the world who have found hope through ECP therapy. The campaign urges everyone impacted by ECP to join the celebration and tell their story about how this therapy has helped to transform their life or the life of someone they care for. Go to www.lightinguplives.com to learn more about the campaign and how you can join the celebration.
About Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL)
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a slow progressive form of cancer that has been increasing in incidence. Patients may experience symptoms of thickened, red, cracking, scaling or intensely itchy skin in localised areas or all over the body. About 10 percent of patients will have blood, lymph node and/or internal organ involvement with serious complications. Many patients live normal lives during treatment and some are able to remain in remission for long periods of time. There is a greater frequency among men than women and CTCL is more common after the age of 50. It is estimated that CTCL affects 16,000 to 20,000 people across the U.S.[iv] and approximately 2,500 to 3,000 new patients are diagnosed every year.[v]
About THERAKOS® Photopheresis Integrated Systems
THERAKOS® UVAR XTS® Photopheresis System and the THERAKOS® CELLEX® Photopheresis System are the only integrated, regulatory approved ECP devices. These systems withdraw a volume of whole blood that is then centrifuged to separate the white blood cells from the red blood cells and plasma. The red blood cells and plasma are immediately returned to the patient. The white blood cells are treated with the well-tolerated liquid version of methoxsalen, which is photoactivated after exposure to UVA light. The treated white blood cells are then reinfused into the patient. ECP selectively modulates the immune response, restoring balance to the immune system without causing significant short- or long-term side effects.
THERAKOS® UVAR XTS® Photopheresis System and the THERAKOS® CELLEX® Photopheresis System are approved for use in the palliative treatment of the skin manifestations of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) that are unresponsive to other forms of treatment.
For more complete information on indications, contraindications, warnings and precautions, see the Instructions for Use available at: www.therakos.com.
About Therakos, Inc.
Therakos, Inc. is a leader in advancing the science of immune cell therapies harnessing a combination of expertise in medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Therakos markets the world's only approved integrated systems for extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP). For 25 years, physicians have been using THERAKOS® Photopheresis Systems to treat their patients, with more than 700,000 treatments administered worldwide. For more information, visit www.therakos.com.
[i] Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation. About Cutaneous Lymphoma. Available at: http://www.clfoundation.org/about-cutaneous-lymphoma/what-lymphoma-and-cutaneous-lymphoma. Accessed Mar 5, 2012.
[ii] Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation. CTCL-MF Fast Facts, p.4
[iii] Data on File, Therakos, Inc.
[iv] Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation. CTCL-MF Fast Facts, p.4
[v] Zic, Dr. J. A. Photopheresis in the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma: current status. Curr Opin Oncol. January 2012; 24 (Supplement 1):S1-S10
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