- Approximately 50% of patients who have bladder cancer will see a recurrence of the condition – often due to poor margin visibility
- White light has been the standard procedure during cystoscopies, but is only beneficial if tumors protrude from the bladder wall
- Blue light cystoscopies address this issue, increasing the odds of removing more cancerous cells and reducing the recurrence of the cancer
- The i/Blue Imaging System(TM) improves surgical technique by combining both white and blue light capabilities on one screen without the necessity of switching between two images
- Imagin Medical Inc. is currently moving toward commercializing the system, expecting to complete the product in 2022
Approximately 50% of patients who suffer from non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer will relapse. Even with the rates of local recurrence after definitive therapy improving, research indicates that management of the disease remains a challenge. Urothelial carcinoma, the most common type of bladder cancer, continues to exhibit high rates of recurrence (https://ibn.fm/4HXcP).
The primary treatment for recurrence focuses on cytology, stage, and clinical characteristics. A particular area of interest is identification and causes/predictors of urothelial carcinoma recurrence. Differentiating management of recurrent carcinoma from treatment of primary carcinoma has generated limited progress, but the research indicates that organ-conserving and endoscopic therapies may be effective, especially by identifying patients who are facing a higher risk of early recurrence.
This is where technologies such as Imagin Medical’s (CSE: IME) (OTCQB: IMEXF) i/Blue Imaging System(TM) may prove effective by enhancing tumor visualization and resection, and potentially lowering recurrence rates as a result.
Focused on establishing a new standard of care in the visualization of cancer during minimally invasive procedures, Imagin Medical’s primary focus is bladder cancer, the sixth most prevalent cancer in the U.S. and the third most common on men. Due to its high recurrence rate, patients who have had bladder cancer require years of follow-up testing and procedures to catch recurrence early, making it one of the most expensive cancers to treat (https://ibn.fm/tus7H).
The conventional method used to visualize bladder cancer during surgical procedures is called a cystoscopy. Cystoscopies allow medical providers to see inside the bladder using a thin, lighted, flexible tube called a cystoscope, which uses white light to illuminate the area. White light has been the standard of care for decades and is used by more than 90% of the cystoscopy procedures. While white light effectively shows the landscape of the bladder, it is not effective in visualizing all cancerous tissue that may be present in the bladder, only tumors that protrude above the surface.
Since 2010, the use of blue light paired with a reactive contrast agent during cystoscopies has been expanding as a promising new visualization method that highlights cancerous cells, including margins and flat tumors along the bladder wall. The problem with using blue light during cystoscopies is that the images are not in real time, requiring surgeons to switch back and forth, during the intervention, between the real-time white light image and the blue light image that highlights the cancer.
Imagin’s i/Blue Imaging System aims to address these shortcomings. Combining the effectiveness of blue light cystoscopy with proprietary technology, the i/Blue Imaging System will improve surgical technique by displaying both white and blue light images simultaneously side-by-side in real time on one monitor. This innovation will enable the surgeon to view cancerous cells and their margins in context for more complete removal eliminate the need to switch back and forth to resect the cancer.
Imagin is currently moving toward commercialization of its technology, with the Food and Drug Administration approval process underway. The company is working with Maine-based Lighthouse Imaging, an FDA registered and ISO 13485:2016 certified manufacturer, to finalize the system design for manufacture. The product is on track for completion in 2022 (https://ibn.fm/TKiU1).
Once the goal of changing bladder cancer visualization has been realized, Imagin will build on the i/Blue Imaging System’s technology to facilitate other minimally invasive procedures, including laparoscopic, colorectal, and thoracic that use a variety of contrast dye agents and illumination sources. Imagin is working to improve upon past technology, create better patient outcomes, and incur fewer costs in the process.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ImaginMedical.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IMEXF are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/IMEXF
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