Dr. Cheung Conducts 1st IlluminOss Cancer Treatment in US

Published: Monday, July 6, 2015

Lightfix, IlluminOss’ Bone Stabilization Technology

A collaboration among Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, the Marshall Clinical Research Center and the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center (ECCC) has resulted in the successful treatment of the first two patients in the US using an innovative bone-stabilization device. Both patients were diagnosed with metastatic cancer and had a pathologic fracture of the humerus.

These institutions are working in conjunction with IlluminOss Medical, a medical device company focused on minimally invasive orthopedic fracture repair, as part of its US Lightfix clinical trial for the treatment of impending and pathologic fractures in the humerus due to metastatic carcinoma.

Felix Cheung, MD

The surgeries were performed by Felix Cheung, MD, chief of the division of orthopaedic oncology at the School of Medicine and the region's only orthopedic oncologist. Dr. Cheung, who practices at the ECCC, is an orthopedic surgeon who received fellowship training in musculoskeletal oncology at Harvard.

“We are excited for the opportunity to be the first clinical site in the US to apply IlluminOss’ technology to the treatment of a patient with a complex fracture, and the results have been remarkable,” said Cheung. “The patients were completely stable following the procedure and reported little to no discomfort. Having seen firsthand how effective the IlluminOss System is, I believe the benefits it provides to both the surgeon and the patient have the potential to make it a true game-changer in the way fracture repair can be approached.”

Franklin Shuler, MD, PhD

Assisting Cheung was Franklin D. Shuler, MD, PhD, associate professor and vice chair of research in the department of orthopaedic surgery at the School of Medicine. Gene DiPoto, senior vice president of research and development at IlluminOss Medical, worked closely with Cheung and his team to facilitate the successful surgeries. 

The IlluminOss System has proven successful in the treatment of more than a thousand patients in Europe, where it has been in clinical use since 2010.  Patient benefits observed from the use of the IlluminOss product include smaller incisions, shorter procedure times, and more rapid post-procedure patient mobility with reduced hospital stays and lower complication rates. In many cases it allows the patient to get back to daily activities more quickly without the hindrance of a hard cast.

This clinical trial is underway at surgical centers across the country and is currently enrolling patients.  For additional information, please go to www.clinicaltrials.gov and enter NCT 02338492 in the search bar.