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THERAGENICS CORP. DL-,01 WKN für Deutschland 875434

Wednesday March 29, 4:00 am Eastern Time
Company Press Release
Nine-Year Study Reveals TheraSeed Highly Effective in Treating Localized Early-Stage Prostate Cancer
BUFORD, Ga.--(BW HealthWire)--March 29, 2000--Theragenics Corporation (NYSE: TGX - news), today announced that a newly published nine-year clinical study demonstrates that brachytherapy with TheraSeed® - Palladium 103 (Pd-103) seed implants perform equal to, or better than, traditional treatments for prostate cancer. The results of this peer-reviewed study, authored by John C. Blasko, M.D. and his colleagues at the Seattle Prostate Institute, offer hope for the nearly 200,000 men in the U.S. expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. The study`s findings, as published in the March issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics, report that 83.5% of the patients treated with TheraSeed® were cancer-free at nine years.

``Brachytherapy is an increasingly popular treatment option among both patients and physicians because of treatment convenience, and the minimal disruption to quality of life,`` said lead author John Blasko, M.D. ``The nine-year results using TheraSeed® in this series add to the growing body of knowledge that brachytherapy can achieve a high rate of success for patients with organ-confined disease. It is important to note that this series contains many patients with relatively aggressive disease whose outcomes with brachytherapy are at least equal to those of competing treatment approaches.``

``The results of this landmark study confirm the longer-term efficacy of TheraSeed® and are consistent with similar findings from numerous other institutions,`` said Christine Jacobs, chairman, president and CEO of Theragenics Corporation. ``As the manufacturer of TheraSeed®, it is rewarding to know that our product has not only saved the lives of thousands of men, but also offers hope and encouragement for the thousands of men who, in their future, will face a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Dr. Blasko`s superior clinical outcomes are a tribute to the quality of medicine he and his colleagues practice at the Seattle Prostate Institute.``

``Results with seeding clearly rival the more traditional methods of prostate cancer treatment including radical prostatectomy and external beam radiation. As demonstrated by this study, a patient can now select seeding with a high level of confidence in the long-term outcomes,`` continued Jacobs.

Prostate cancer is the leading cancer in men. According to the National Prostate Cancer Coalition, one in six American men are at a lifetime risk of this disease that represents 29% of all new cancer cases for men. Each year prostate cancer claims the lives of nearly 40,000 American men, one death every 15 minutes.

During seed therapy, TheraSeeds® are inserted into the prostate without the need for debilitating surgery, concentrating the impact of short-range, short-lived radiation directly into cancerous tissue, minimizing the effects on surrounding healthy tissue. This outpatient procedure lasts about an hour and patients usually resume normal activities within 24 to 48 hours.

In addition to the high success rate of the TheraSeed® treatment, patient complications are reduced compared to surgery. Patients treated with TheraSeed® expect fewer cases of impotence and incontinence, as reported in recent clinical publications of Radiation Oncology Investigations, Urology and the International Journal of Radiation Oncology.

The study, conducted by Dr. John Blasko of the Seattle Prostate Institute, consisted of 230 patients with clinical stage T1-T2 prostate cancer, who received TheraSeed® brachytherapy as the sole form of treatment. The overall cure rate, which was defined as no evidence of prostate cancer by examination, X-ray studies, prostate biopsies, and a low, stable prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, was achieved in 83.5% of the patients. Only 3% experienced cancer recurrence in the prostate. Prostate brachytherapy with TheraSeed® achieves a high rate of biochemical and clinical control in patients with clinically organ-controlled disease.

During the time period in which these patients were treated in this study, the higher dose rate of TheraSeed® relative to Iodine-125 seeds was considered a potential advantage for the more difficult to cure patients presenting with moderately to poorly differentiated histology. For this reason, patients with higher-grade disease were more likely to be selected for treatment with TheraSeed®. No patient underwent medical or surgical intervention for the purpose of diminishing hormone levels. No form of radiotherapy other than the implant was employed. No other local or systemic treatment was prescribed.

Theragenics Corporation, based in Buford, Ga., is the manufacturer of TheraSeed®; a rice-sized device used in the treatment of localized prostate cancer with a one-time, minimally invasive procedure. For additional information on the Company, call Theragenics` Investor Relations Department at (800) 998-8479. The Company`s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TGX.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contact:

Theragenics Corporation, Buford
Ron Warren
Director of Investor Relations, 800/998-8479
or 770/271-0233
www.theragenics.com
or
Investor Relations Contact:
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates
Bruce Voss, 310/575-4848
bruce@lhai.com
or
Kim Sutton Golodetz, 212/838-3777
kim@lhai.com
or
Elissa Grabowski (media), 212/838-3777
elissa@lhai.com
www.lhai.com
or
Public Relations Contact:
The Headline Group, Atlanta
Tracy Louthain (media), 404/262-3000
tlouthain@headlinegroup.com


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