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Eckert & Ziegler: Another large-scale order in Venezuela

Berlin, 4 January 2007. Following a previous large-scale order, the Venezuelan Health Ministry has ordered additional innovative cancer radiation systems from Eckert & Ziegler AG (ISIN DE0005659700) at the start of 2007 to supply six more of the country's clinics. These are MultiSource® tumor radiation systems, which feature especially low operating costs thanks to their cobalt radiation sources.

In order to equip its network of cancer treatment centers, Venezuela had already ordered tumor radiation systems worth several million USD from the Berlin-based medical equipment specialist last year, via the latter's distribution partners Philips and Servicios Radioma. This new order, which is scheduled to be filled in 2007, is worth around 1.6 million USD (1.2 million EUR).

According to Dr. Edgar Löffler, the member of the Executive Board in charge of the therapy segment and the managing director of the relevant subsidiary Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG GmbH, "This order demonstrates once again that the product family we launched a mere two years ago is now successfully established on the international market and that the innovative approach of using long-life radiation sources is recognized and rewarded. It reflects not only the fact that MultiSource® allows users free choice in the type of radioisotope, but also a number of new features and the planning system".

Cancer treatment with MultiSource®: Tumor radiation systems for treating cancer (the technical term is "afterloaders") insert a small radioactive source inside the affected organ, such as the uterus, in order to radiate the cancerous tissue from inside the body. Thanks to the spatial proximity between the radioactive source and the diseased tissue, a high dose can be focused directly on the tumor while the adjacent healthy organs can be largely spared. To do so, an empty catheter is first inserted. After checking on its position by e.g. X-ray or ultrasound, medical personnel can leave the treatment room. A radioactive source is then "afterloaded" - via an electronic control system - into the catheter. Following the radiation treatment, the source is removed by the same procedure. The advantages of afterloading are that the tumor receives a high radioactive dose while the tissue is largely spared. Moreover, medical personnel are no longer exposed to possible radiation themselves. Afterloading is a well-established technique for treating tumors in the uterus, breast, esophagus, lungs, and prostate.

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