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ARTHROCARE'S COBLATION SYSTEM TO BE USED FOR BRAIN SURGERY.

ArthroCare Corp. (Nasdaq:ARTC), Sunnyvale, Calif., is expanding marketing efforts for its Coblation(R)-based spinal surgery system to specifically address selected applications in neurosurgery.

The initial product set is CE marked for sale in Europe and the European introduction is scheduled to begin immediately. The United States introduction will commence once U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k) marketing clearance is received.

"I have been using Coblation technology for several months now," said Dr. Chris Gerber, consultant neurosurgeon, Newcastle General Hospital. "I can report that the system is a valuable tool which has the ability to resect/ablate cranial tumors with a high degree of control and across a wide range of tissue densities."

At a joint meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons on "Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves" in Palm Springs, Calif. recently, William Taylor, M.D., associate professor of Neurosurgery at University of California, San Diego, made a presentation concerning his experience with ArthroCare's spinal surgery system and the potential application of the technology to neurosurgery. "I have been impressed with the precision and control of Coblation technology in spine surgery," said Dr. Taylor. "Based on my experience, I believe it is likely to become my preferred choice for removing solid tumors in the brain."

Approximately 250,000 surgical procedures are performed in the brain each year, and more than 110,000 metastatic brain tumors are diagnosed annually in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, brain tumors are the second fastest growing cause of cancer death among people over age 65 and are one of the most common types of cancer found in children. In addition, brain trauma affects another 1.5 million people each year in the United States.

"Once neurosurgeons began performing spinal procedures with Coblation technology, they immediately suggested that our products might work better than conventional tools in brain surgery," said Michael A. Baker, ArthroCare's president and chief executive officer. "Our expansion into the neurosurgery market after only a few months of experience in spinal surgery is another example of ArthroCare's ability to quickly leverage its core technology into important new indications in related surgical fields."

ArthroCare's products allow surgeons to operate with a high level of precision and control, limiting damage to surrounding tissue and thereby potentially reducing pain and speeding recovery for the patient. The company's products operate at lower temperatures than traditional electrosurgical or laser surgery tools and enable surgeons to remove, shrink or sculpt soft tissue and to seal bleeding vessels.

ArthroCare is a medical device company that develops, manufactures and markets products based on its patented Coblation technology. ArthroCare's soft-tissue surgery systems consist of a controller unit and an assortment of disposable devices that are specialized for specific types of surgery. The company believes its Coblation technology can replace the multiple surgical tools traditionally used in soft-tissue surgery with one multi-purpose surgical system. Coblation technology is applicable across many soft-tissue surgical markets. The company's strategy includes applying its patented Coblation technology to a broad range of soft-tissue surgical markets, including arthroscopic surgery, spinal surgery, cosmetic surgery, ear, nose and throat surgery, neurosurgery, general surgery and various cardiology applications.

For more information, call 408/736-0224.
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Comment:ARTHROCARE'S COBLATION SYSTEM TO BE USED FOR BRAIN SURGERY.
Publication:Worldwide Biotech
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2000
Words:540
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