Sensus Healthcare is a medical device company that focuses on providing non-invasive and cost-effective treatment of non-melanoma skin cancers and keloids utilizing superficial radiation technology (SRT). Their proprietary, FDA-cleared SRT technology is used to effectively and safely treat oncological and non-oncological skin conditions. The radiation is focused onto cancer cells almost exclusively, and it penetrates no more than 5mm under the surface of the skin, sparing nearby tissues.
In 2013, Sensus Healthcare received FDA clearance in the United States to treat keloids with the SRT-100 device. Earlier this summer, China’s Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) approved Sensus Healthcare’s SRT-100 for the treatment of keloids – smooth, hard, benign growths that form when scar tissue grows excessively – which is significant due to the prevalence of C-section births in the country.
We are excited to bring you an exclusive with Sensus Healthcare’s CEO, Joe Sardano.
Alice Ferng, Medgadget: Thanks for connecting with Medgadget. Can you tell me a bit about yourself, your background, and what got you involved with Sensus Healthcare?
Joe Sardano, CEO of Sensus Healthcare: Before founding Sensus Healthcare in June 2010, I spent more than 30 years working in management and marketing within the healthcare industry. I held leadership and management roles at CTI Molecular Imaging, GE Medical Systems, Siemens Medical Systems, Elscint Inc. and Toshiba America Medical Systems, among others. Throughout my career, I’ve had a successful history of introducing and commercializing new technologies and services in many areas, including electronic brachytherapy, PET and PET / CT, SPECT, MRI, lithotripsy and digital radiography.
Medgadget: Tell me about Sensus Healthcare. Was this a company you founded? Or at what point in Sensus Healthcare’s development did you come onboard?
Mr. Sardano: I helped found Sensus Healthcare (NASDAQ: SRTS) in 2010 as a medical device company focused on providing a non-invasive and cost-effective treatment of non-melanoma skin cancers and keloids utilizing superficial radiation technology (SRT). I founded it along with 3 of my best friends who as a Team, have been engaged in all the previous experiences mentioned. We have been a Team for that long.
The impetus for launching Sensus was to address the growing, underserved patient population that is looking for a non-invasive, highly efficient and cost-effective treatment option for oncological and non-oncological skin conditions.
Medgadget: Who is the inventor of your SRT technology? How was this technology born?
Mr. Sardano: SRT technology has improved upon another proven technology called Orthovoltage, which was first developed in the mid-1900s.
Medgadget: What is SRT and how does it work?
Mr. Sardano: Superficial Radiation Therapy (SRT) is a low-energy, photon radiotherapy technology that delivers precise, calibrated low-dose radiation that effectively destroys basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, as well as the non-malignant tumor cells that cause keloids. Proprietary Sensus-designed and made applicators, the SRT-100 and SRT-100 Vision, allow doctors to focus 100 percent the low-energy photon radiotherapy directly on cancer cells, penetrating no deeper than 5mm below the surface, allowing for the preservation of the surrounding tissue.
Medgadget: What about your product differentiates it from other competitors on the market?
Mr. Sardano: For nearly 90 years, Mohs surgery has been the procedure of choice for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Despite the benefits of Mohs surgery, the procedure is very laborious and time-consuming, plus requires specialized training, support personnel and equipment. In some cases, patients can’t handle the Mohs surgical procedure. Additionally, healthy tissue could be compromised during the procedure, and patients may experience permanent scarring, numbness and / or infection.
In comparison, SRT is performed right in the physician’s office and delivers optimum results to treat skin cancer without the negative side effects, like cutting, stitching, bleeding, infection, or scarring which might need reconstructive plastic surgery that comes with more invasive treatments. It is virtually painless and allows patients to maintain a better quality of life.
Medgadget: Why is SRT better than current Mohs surgeries? What is the highest barrier to market?
Mr. Sardano: SRT compliments Mohs surgery and is commonly used by Mohs surgeons on patients who are not good surgical candidates or if the treatment area is in a difficult-to-reach area, like the ears, tip of the nose or top of the head. Since nearly 80 percent of skin cancer occurs on visible areas of the face, head and neck, SRT is a viable solution that allows patients to avoid the scarring that’s caused by Mohs surgery and reconstructive plastic surgery that is often required following Mohs procedures.
Part of our marketing efforts are to educate dermatologists and radiation oncologists on the results that SRT offers and how it can provide patients with a less-invasive, highly-effective treatment.
Medgadget: Where is SRT being used currently?
Mr. Sardano: Geographically- SRT is being used internationally: in the United States, China, etc. Sensus Healthcare’s SRT devices are currently being used by dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and radiation oncologists across the United States. Internationally, the devices are also being used in China, where this year Sensus’ SRT-100 was cleared by the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) to treat and prevent keloids, as well as in Israel where, earlier this summer, we announced the installation of our second SRT-100 Vision device at the Beilenson Hospital / Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
Medgadget: What are your treatment and outcome metrics, and how do you determine how effective SRT is?
Mr. Sardano: Without cutting into the skin, SRT’s non-surgical treatment delivers a 95+ percent cure rate for non-melanoma skin cancer – comparable to surgery and without the cutting, stitching, or scarring. In addition, a recent abstract on the treatment of keloids with SRT that was presented at the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Annual Meeting reported a significantly lower keloid rate (less than 2 percent) when combining keloidectomy and excision site treatment with SRT. Compared to the recurrence rate of keloids following excision alone (71 percent), it’s clear that SRT has a profound impact on a patient’s quality of life.
Medgadget: How difficult has it been to get physicians to adopt SRT?
Mr. Sardano: Our physicians understand the benefits of SRT for their patients who are eligible for this treatment. Most of the doctors signing up to get SRT devices in their offices are Mohs Surgeons. These Doctors were the 1st to recognize that SRT had a place in their practice for a growing number of patients over 65 who walk into their clinics with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and heart conditions. They wanted to provide their patients all the options available in order to maximize outcomes. Clearly, our doctors are concerned about their patients and want to be a “total solutions’ provider to their NMSC & Keloid needs.
Medgadget: Anything else you’d like to talk about, highlight, or share with us?
Mr. Sardano: We believe that SRT is just scratching the surface. As patients become more aware of a non invasive alternative to existing options, they will continue to seek out those doctors that give them those choices. We are seeing it now especially with our Mohs Surgeons. They are doing more Mohs surgery while SRT increases productivity and cash flow and offers the growing population of skin cancer patients an option they are looking for. Dermatologists who are Mohs Surgeons are beginning to realize that they are Cutaneous Oncologists. They now have the opportunity to become a full service facility when it comes to skin cancer & keloids and that’s what patients are looking for.