March 4, 2007

First Patients In India Receive Innovative Treatment For Primary Liver Cancer

MDS Nordion, a leading global provider of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals used to diagnose and treat disease, announced today that its innovative cancer treatment TheraSphere(R) has been used in India for the first time, marking the beginning of the treatment's broader introduction into India.

Three patients were the first to be treated for primary liver cancer in India using TheraSphere(R). Two of the successful infusions were conducted at the Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre. The third was performed at the Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre. Both centres are located in Mumbai, India. TheraSphere(R) will be used in India to treat both primary and secondary liver cancers.

As a result of its commitment to providing innovative cancer treatments to people in India, MDS Nordion is one of 89 Ontario-based companies and organizations participating in a trade mission to India, organized by the Government of Ontario that is taking place this week.

"The first-time use of TheraSphere(R) in India represents an incredible opportunity for us to expand the use of this innovative treatment to help people in India and increase MDS Nordion's global market reach," said Steve West, President of MDS Nordion. "It also supports our strategy to explore and capitalize on opportunities in the health and life sciences sectors in this growing market."

Comprised of tiny radioactive glass beads, TheraSphere(R) is injected by a physician into the main artery of the patient's liver using a catheter. This allows the treatment to be delivered directly to the tumor. TheraSphere(R) delivers a therapeutic dose of radiation to cancerous tumours directly while minimizing impact on the patient's healthy tissue. As a result, it has fewer side effects than traditional cancer therapy. The treatment is usually an outpatient procedure and patients do not have to stay overnight in the hospital.

"Patients with liver cancer are often difficult to treat as they are frequently very, very sick and unable to withstand traditional cancer therapy. TheraSphere(R) provides us with another tool to treat this terrible disease," said Dr. Vimal Someshwar, consulting Interventional Radiologist at the Lilavati Hospital. "TheraSphere(R) is a well-tolerated treatment option that offers a number of important benefits to the patients and the institutions providing their care."

Both the Lilivati and the Jaslok hospitals are leading centres in India for oncology care with specializations in the treatment of liver disease.

"As is the case around the world, India is also experiencing rising rates of cancer as its population grows and gets older," said Dr. Shrinivas B. Desai, Head of the Department of Imaging and Interventional Radiology with the Jaslok Hospital. "In 2002, some 850,000 new cases of cancer were recorded in this country. The demand for effective cancer treatment in our country, over the coming years, will continue to grow."

Meanwhile, future TheraSphere(R) treatments are planned at other medical facilities in India.

"We are scheduled to bring this innovative technology to life very soon at the Apollo Cancer Institute. TheraSphere(R) will have an important role in our overall treatment scenarios for patients with primary liver cancer and other cancers that have spread to the liver," said Dr. Sameer Kaul, Surgical Oncologist at Apollo Hospital in New Delhi.

This introduction into India is another example of the momentum seen in the growing use of TheraSphere(R) around the world. In 2006, TheraSphere(R) received approval for distribution and use in Europe. In the United States, TheraSphere(R) is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a Humanitarian Use Device for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common form of primary liver cancer.

Most recently, MDS Nordion received approval from the U.S. FDA for the use of TheraSphere(R) to treat patients with HCC who have partial or branch portal vein thrombosis (PVT) and who have been identified as suitable candidates by their physicians. MDS Nordion has also received FDA approval for clinical trials to test the effectiveness of TheraSphere(R) in patients with secondary liver cancer.

About TheraSphere(R)

TheraSphere(R) is a low toxicity, out-patient liver cancer therapy which consists of millions of micro-glass beads containing radioactive yttrium-90. The product is injected by physicians into the main artery of the patient's liver through a catheter which allows the treatment to be delivered directly to the tumor via blood vessels. Unlike chemotherapy, it has few side effects. Patients rarely experience nausea and vomiting usually associated with high-dose, systemic chemotherapies. The TheraSphere(R) treatment can generally be administered on an outpatient basis and does not usually require an overnight hospital stay. TheraSphere(R), 100% reimbursed by Medicare and many commercial health insurers, is approved in the U.S. as a Humanitarian Device for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma, also referred to as primary liver cancer, and is now approved for patients who also have partial or branch portal vein thrombosis and who are identified as suitable candidates by their physicians. For more information on TheraSphere(R) go to or visit us at SIR 2007, March 1-6, 2007 in Seattle, Washington, Booth # 1215.

About MDS Nordion

MDS Nordion ( is a world leader in medical isotopes, radiation and related technologies. It is a division of MDS Inc. (TSX:MDS)(NYSE:MDZ). MDS Inc. is a global life sciences company that provides market-leading products and services that our customers need for the development of drugs and diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are a leading global provider of pharmaceutical contract research, medical isotopes for molecular imaging, radiotherapeutics, and analytical instruments. MDS has more than 8,800 highly skilled people in 28 countries. Find out more at

MDS Nordion

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