Hyperspectral device better for cervical cancer detection
NORCROSS, GA--Because routine Pap tests are often unreliable and tend to miss disease and create false positives with expensive followup, Mark L. Faupel, PhD, president and CEO of Guided Therapeutics, is betting that his company's LightTouch Cervical Neoplasia Detection System will be a better alternative.
NORCROSS, GA--Because routine Pap tests are often unreliable and tend to miss disease and create false positives with expensive followup, Mark L. Faupel, PhD, president and CEO of Guided Therapeutics, is betting that his company's LightTouch Cervical Neoplasia Detection System will be a better alternative. LightTouch is a non-invasive, hyperspectral imaging spectroscopy (HIS)-based approach to detecting cervical cancer. Although full details of a just-concluded FDA pivotal clinical trial (conducted at 7 U.S. clinics with 2000 patients at high risk for cervical cancer) will be made available in March, the trial has already revealed that current methods miss nearly a third of cervical precancers and cancers. And of the biopsies performed on patients who tested positive via these methods for cancer or precancer, only 19% indicated presence of the diseases. The trial results correlate well with those of a 2005 study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The system includes a handheld device that connects to a base unit via fiber-optic cables for bi-directional transmission of light. The base contains a xenon arc lamp, filters and lenses, and a CCD camera. A computer provides control and data processing. Faupel says, however, that the "key spec" is the dramatically reduced cost of the technology. Ten years ago the $20,000 system would have cost $60,000 to $100,000. In fact, cost effectiveness is a major reason Guided Therapeutics has been able to secure approximately $6 million in six consecutive grants from the NCI, says Faupel.
In a single minute, LightTouch scans a matrix of equally spaced points over a one-inch diameter of the cervical area, acquiring individual spectra for each cell component. For cervical tissue reflectance measurements, light ranging from about 350 to 900 nm is applied. For tissue fluorescence measurements, light is bandpass filtered to limit exposure to 300 to 500 nm. Each wavelength is applied automatically under software control in a predetermined order and scan pattern. Alterations in fluorescence spectra indicate metabolic changes associated with disease, while abnormal reflectance and scattering highlight disease-induced structural changes.
The technology has already received a CE mark and is undergoing FDA premarket review. Guided Therapeutics anticipates a 2010 launch.
The technology can apply to detection of other forms of cancer, too, and since mid-2007 Guided Therapeutics has been collaborating with Konica Minolta Opto (Tokyo, Japan) to co-develop additional products for the detection of lung and esophageal cancer.
--Barbara G. Goode
Optoelectronics Report (ISSN 1522-2837) encourages the submission of news, views, and comments about your company and the industry. Sales reports, market outlooks, strategic moves, and personnel changes are just a few of the kinds of items we would like you to share with our readers. Please fax information to Gail Overton at (603) 891-0574 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Optoelectronics Report © 2010 is published 24 times a year by PennWell Corp., Advanced Technology Division, Communications and Optoelectronics Group, 98 Spit Brook Road, Nashua, NH 03062, for executives and marketers, highlighting business news and technology trends in the optoelectronics industry. An annual e-mail subscription to Optoelectronics Report, prepaid, is $315 worldwide. The annual Economic Review and Forecast, published in January, is available with the data on disk for $250. All other back issues are $15. All rights reserved. Use of this publication must be in compliance with the law. Optoelectronics Report is protected under international copyright laws and may not be reproduced without special permission of the publisher. Requests for subscription or bulk orders should be sent to Customer Service, 98 Spit Brook Road, Nashua, NH 03062; tel.: (603) 891-9416, FAX: (603) 891-9350.