Optical Biopsy Device Evaluates Flat Polyps During Colonoscopies
Tuesday’s article in the Journal, Annals of Internal Medicine found that traditional colonoscopy, while widely recommended, was much less accurate than anyone expected. Scientists at SpectraScience pointed out that using a safe low power laser to illuminate tissue in the colon, the WavSTAT system, when combined with a physician’s visual assessment can tell within seconds if the tissue is “normal” or “suspect” with 96% sensitivity.
Using the principle of Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF), diseased or cancerous tissue fluoresces differently compared to normal healthy tissue. Diseased tissue has reduced fluorophors which when analyzed by a specialized detector can indicate with high sensitivity that the cells are becoming dysplastic, a precursor to cancer.
During colonoscopy, a small fiber optic probe is directed by the clinician to touch the suspicious tissue. Depressing a foot switch directs low powered, safe laser light into the tissue. The laser shuts off and the tissue fluorescence light is directed back up the same fiber optic probe to a specialized detector. The system’s computer analyses the detectors output and within seconds displays a RED or GREEN light on a screen. A GREEN light means the tissue is “normal” with 96% sensitivity. Where a flat polyp is suspect, multiple uses of the optical fiber and the RED light may assist the clinician in determining the margin of the “suspect” tissue and remove all of it in the same procedure.
SpectraScience holds approximately 60 patents worldwide that have been issued or are pending on its WavSTAT(R) Optical Biopsy System and LUMA(R) Cervical Imaging Systems. These devices are used to assess tissue quickly to help determine if it is normal, pre-cancerous, or cancerous. The WavSTAT and LUMA Systems are currently approved by the FDA for detecting pre-cancerous and cancerous tissue in the colon and cervix, respectively. An evaluation of the WavSTAT for detection of pre-cancers in the throat (“Barrett’s esophagus”) is being tested.
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause SpectraScience’s actual results to differ materially from results discussed in forward-looking statements. Readers are urged to carefully review and consider the various disclosures made by SpectraScience in this news release, its most recent Form 10-K and in SpectraScience’s other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that attempt to advise interested parties of the risks and factors that may affect SpectraScience’s business. These forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by the cautions and risk factors filed by SpectraScience in its annual report on Form 10-K and other documents.
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