40 Years of Treating Cancer

In the early years, the company’s strategy was to identify those cancers whose cure rates had not improved significantly in the previous two decades, that were consistently diagnosed as inoperable, or that had claimed increasingly more lives – then to develop products to treat those cancers. Theragenics developed TheraSeed®, a rice-sized titanium-encapsulated device based on the palladium-103 radioactive isotope, which is implanted percutaneously using ultrasound guidance. While radioactive iodine-125 and other isotopes had been used for over 20 years, Theragenics researchers believed palladium-103 to be a desirable alternative to iodine-125 because of a much shorter half-life and higher initial dose rate.

Today, Theragenics brachytherapy seed products for treatment of early stage prostate cancer are sold in several countries and regions around the world, including the United States, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Singapore. It's estimated that Theragenics’ TheraSeed® and AGX100® seed products have been used to treat over 240,000 men.

Previously, Theragenics performed research and development related to cancers other than prostate, as well as non-cancer diseases. While these development programs are no longer taking place, certain technologies and intellectual property that were developed are still used today. Since the early 1990’s TheraSeed® has been used as an alternative to enucleation for treating ocular melanoma, and today both TheraSeed and AgX-100 I-125 are available for eye plaque implants to treat this disease.

Through acquisitions and organic achievements, Theragenics continues to diversify and expand its capabilities and product offerings to address needs across multiple markets, including but not limited to, interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, vascular surgery, orthopedics, plastic surgery, dental surgery, urology, veterinary medicine, pain management, endoscopy, and spinal surgery.


  • A group of physicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology originally founded Theragenics® as Nuclear Medicine, Inc. The mission of the company was to develop and market radiological pharmaceuticals and devices to fight cancer.


  • In November, Theragenics® licensed intellectual property and technology for radioactive microspheres from the University of Missouri to develop TheraSphere® as a treatment for liver cancer.
  • TheraSphere® consists of yttrium-90 glass microspheres injected through a catheter into the main liver artery that treat inoperable liver cancer.


  • Theragenics® has out-licensed rights to the TheraSphere® product since 1985 and through a series of acquisitions Boston Scientific Corporation® a leading medical device manufacturer, now licenses the worldwide rights to TheraSphere® from Theragenics®.
  • Boston Scientific Corporation® is a registered trademark of Boston Scientific Corporation.


  • Theragenics® received FDA approval to market TheraSeed™.


  • In November, the FDA granted approval for Theragenics® to begin its U.S. clinical trials for the TheraSphere® device.
  • Dr. John Blasko, Seattle Prostate Institute, performed the first TheraSeed™ implant on a patient with prostate cancer.
  • Theragenics worked to both develop the market for TheraSeed™ and establish in-house isotope production and manufacturing capacities until 1997.


  • Theragenics® identified three cancers: prostate, liver and brain cancer and embarked on developing products for each of these. This strategy was further refined and Theragenics® narrowed its focus to prostate and liver cancer treatments.


  • TheraSphere® received approval from the Canadian government for commercial distribution.


  • Johnson & Johnson held the exclusive worldwide rights to market TheraSeed™ until 2000.


  • TheraSphere® received a Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) designation from the FDA.


  • Theragenics® has sold TheraSeed™ directly to hospitals in the US, as well as through non-exclusive distributors.


  • Theragenics® diversified its product line with the purchase of an existing U.S. iodine-125 prostate business, as the market was demanding that both palladium-103 and iodine-125 based seeds be available from suppliers.


  • Theragenics® diversified outside its core business focus of brachytherapy into the fast growing surgical products markets. Theragenics acquired CP Medical, a manufacturer of sutures, and wound closure devices for veterinary and medical applications.


  • Theragenics acquired Galt Medical, a manufacturer of vascular access devices used primarily in interventional radiology.


  • Theragenics acquired NeedleTech Products, a manufacturer of specialty needles
  • Theragenics® performed R&D work related to the development of an expandable multi-lumen delivery catheter used in Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation for the treatment of breast cancer.
  • The Company also explored the use of TheraSeed™ as a one-time post-lumpectomy treatment for breast cancer. Theragenics® has out-licensed certain intellectual property associated with this work since then.


  • Theragenics® developed its own FDA approved iodine-125 based seed called AGX100™, the specifications of which would allow expansion into European and other markets outside the United States.

2012 - 2016

  • Theragenics® has actively acquired other brachytherapy suppliers to expand its offerings and ensure the continued supply of this effective treatment for early stage prostate cancer.
  • 2012: Acquired the customer base and certain technologies of Core Oncology.
  • 2015: Acquired the customer base of the U.S. and Canadian business of Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG.
  • 2016: Acquired the customer base and technologies of the brachytherapy business of Oncura, a unit of GE Healthcare.


  • Theragenics acquired Concert Medical, a manufacturer of specialty and procedure guidewires.


  • Theragenics acquired Arrotek Medical, an Ireland based developer and designer based of minimally invasive devices supporting catheter-based interventional procedures.


  • 40th Anniversary of Treating Cancer!
  • TheraSphere® from Boston Scientific Corporation® received FDA approval for hepatocellular carcinoma. Boston Scientific Corporation® is a registered trademark of Boston Scientific Corporation.