Established in 1997, Sirtex Medical Ltd aims to become the world leader in liver cancer treatment products. Using technology initially developed at the Cancer Research Institute Inc (CRI) of Western Australia, Sirtex has three products at various stages of development.
The first of these is SIR-Spheres®, which are biocompatible radioactive microspheres containing yttrium- (a radioactive beta emitter), that targeted specific liver tumours The SIR-Spheres® become trapped in the small blood vessels of the tumour, and irradiate it by a process known as Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT), destroying the tumour while most normal liver tissue remains relatively unaffected.
Sirtex’s second product, Dox-Spheres®, (the cancer drug Doxorubicin dispersed in a biodegradable matrix), provides controlled release of treatment for solid tumours, in particular those found in the liver, head and neck.
Its third product, Thermo-Spheres®, provide a hyperthermic cancer treatment that can destroy cancer cells from within the tumour by raising the cell temperature by some 5°C. The technology may be appropriate for treating many additional forms of cancers.
Clinical trials have proven successful and SIR-Spheres® are approved for commercial use in the United States, European Union, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand India, New Zealand and Australia. Sirtex has established two subsidiaries in the United States Sirtex Medical Inc and Sirtex Wilmington LLC, and one in Europe – Sirtex Medical Europe GmbH.
Nano-biotechnology (drug delivery)