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Collaboration Developing Hi-Res Camera for Oral Cancer Detection

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 11:19am
Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Zenalux Biomedical, Inc., a leader in biophotonic diagnostics, is working with Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) to further enhance its flagship Zenascope product by adding a high-resolution camera to the system. The new device, designated the Zenascope IM1, will be developed through a collaboration with the comprehensive cancer center to provide the ability to record both video and still shots, with white-light or blue-light illumination sources. With the addition of these new capabilities, there will be four functions available with the original Zenascope PC1 system — basic quantitative spectroscopy, pressure sensing, imaging, and illumination.

“Our target in this collaboration is oral cancer detection,” said Dr. Jesko von Windheim, CEO of Zenalux. “Roswell Park approached us with some ideas for refining the Zenascope, and with their input, we were able to design an enhanced system that can be used to detect oral cancers at an early stage. The new IM1 system will integrate imaging capabilities with spectrographic data, giving medical teams better visualization of cellular changes and tumor margins."

The IM1 will first be implemented at Roswell Park’s Head & Neck/Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery/Dental Oncology & Maxillofacial Prosthetics Center, which operates under the direction of Wesley Hicks Jr., MD, FACS.

“We’re assessing the IM1’s effectiveness in the preclinical setting and in clinical trials,” notes Gal Shafirstein, DSc, a Professor in RPCI’s departments of Cell Stress Biology and Head & Neck/Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery who, along with Abraham Kuriakose, MD, Professor and Vice Chairman in the Department of Head & Neck/Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, is helping to develop this new technology. “This image-guided spectroscopy device has the potential to improve the diagnosis of early-stage oral cancer, and we’re also eager to advance our research on approaches for differentiating diseased cells from healthy tissue.”

The Zenascope IM1 is based on the PC1 architecture. In addition to its imaging capability, it achieves quantitative optical spectroscopy in turbid media. Currently designated for pre-clinical use or for use in the context of clinical studies, the system is a specialized, real-time, diagnostic device that shines white light on opaque target media and then measures and analyzes the reflected signal. Proprietary algorithms and standardized measurement hardware achieve rapid, quantitative analysis of targeted endpoints including hemoglobin concentration, hemoglobin saturation and scattering (a measure of cell density and necrosis).

The system can also easily be tuned to include additional absorbers of interest. This unique capability is expected to enable improved diagnosis, better treatment and ultimately cost reduction in the health care system. The system is currently designated for investigational use only. Application areas currently include accelerating feedback in drug discovery; breast tumor margin assessment; response to therapy; breast biopsy; cervical cancer detection; and head and neck cancer detection.

To learn more about the technology, visit Zenalux.

April is Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month. More than 52,000 people are newly diagnosed with head and neck cancers in the U.S. each year.

For more information, visit Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

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