Moffitt doctor uses new stents after surgery for patients with esophageal cancer

May 30, 2006

Tampa, FL – Dr. James Barthel, Director, Endoscopic Oncology Section in the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute has been using a new removable esophageal Polyflex stent made by Boston Scientific for management of strictures that sometimes occur following esophageal cancer surgery. Esophageal stenting is a less-invasive procedure in which a stent is inserted via a delivery system into the esophagus and placed across benign strictures to maintain the natural opening.

By using the stent, doctors have been able to significantly delay the interval between endoscopic interventions necessary to manage post surgery strictures. Without the stent, endoscopic interventions are required on average every 6.8 days. With the stent, endoscopic interventions are required on average every 76 days. This decreases risk and cost for the patient and improves patient convenience. Barthel recently presented the results of the study at the Digestive Diseases Week meeting in Los Angeles.

“Having to undergo serial dilations is problematic for patients and this study should help raise awareness among physicians that the use of the Polyflex temporary stent may provide a favorable alternative for some patients,” says Barthel.

Future large scale studies will be performed to determine optimal duration for keeping the stent in place before removal.

About Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices whose products are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties.

About Moffitt Cancer Center

In 2001, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute earned NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status in recognition of its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one America’s Best Hospitals for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.