- Surgical imaging company Imagin Medical Inc. has developed a proprietary technology that enhances surgeons’ efforts to identify the full extent of bladder cancers and remove them
- Imagin’s i/Blue Imaging (TM) System uses blue light in combination with a fluorescent contrasting agent that highlights the tumor on an endoscope’s camera display to help surgeons remove the cancerous cells more completely than the white light standard
- Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and the second most common genitourinary cancer
- The American Cancer Society forecasts that, during this year, about 81,400 new cases of bladder cancer would be reported and that about 17,980 people would die from the disease
- While Imagin’s initial focus is on making its technology effective and available for fighting bladder cancer, the company intends to expand its platform to work with other minimally invasive surgical procedures such as thoracic and laparoscopic
The rich blue of a daytime sky and the darker hues of a deep pool of water can evoke images of serenity for the troubled mind, while high-energy blue light at the darker end of the visible light spectrum serves health-enhancing functions such as boosting individuals’ alertness, helping memory and cognitive function, and elevating mood. It also helps to regulate the body’s natural wakefulness and sleep cycle known as the circadian rhythm (https://ibn.fm/kvAYr).
Imagin Medical (CSE: IME) (OTCQB: IMEXF) is harnessing the virtues of blue light in an additional, health-enhancing way. By utilizing the company’s proprietary i/Blue Imaging (TM) System with a contrast agent, surgeons will be able to better visualize the parameters of cancers and then develop the appropriate response strategy.
Imagin’s platform is being developed for use in bladder cancer surgery. It relies on the drug, Cysview, which rapidly infiltrates the cancer cells and causes them to glow bright pink under blue light. The drug is administered just before surgery and the blue light is used endoscopically to locate and examine the tumor.
Endoscopic and laparoscopic imaging technology have revolutionized surgical medicine with their minimally invasive advanced optics and light sensors. Cameras and recording devices attached to long, thin tubes inserted into the body through the digestive tract or a small incision elsewhere have eliminated the need for many open surgical procedures — reducing patient anxieties and improving recovery times in the process (https://ibn.fm/VGZDU).
However, the utilization of blue light enhancement of endoscopic procedures is a relatively new development, and most surgical centers have yet to adopt it as part of their protocols. Imagin reports in a recent company webinar that the blue light procedure helps identify 25 percent more tumors but that it is used in less than 10 percent of urological procedures, despite its recommendation by the American Urological Association.
“Clearly one of the big things with patients of bladder cancer is getting it right and getting it right the first time. And we’ve been relying on white light cystoscopy for way too long,” Dr. Ashish M. Kamat, the director of the urologic oncology fellowship at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, says during an interview for the webinar (https://ibn.fm/IGuqQ).
“This year itself, in 2020, we’ve had multiple efforts, editorials and workshops, to try and improve the quality of TRBT (transurethral resection of bladder tumor), and one of the ways to do that is enhanced optical cystoscopy,” Kamat adds. “Blue light really allows us to see these tumors that the naked eye, with white light, just cannot see. It allows us to do a better diagnosis, a better resection, but unfortunately a large percentage of the market today still does not have access to blue light and hence a large percentage of patients just don’t have access to the best technology that there is to offer for resection. It’s a shame!”
One benefit of Imagin’s technology is that it “addresses the limiting factors of” current systems by making its surgical light source, video camera and data recording technology adaptable to almost any scope already on the market. The light source then displays white and blue light images side-by-side on the surgeon’s monitor without a need to toggle back and forth between one image and the other.
At the beginning of 2020, the American Cancer Society estimated about 81,400 new cases of bladder cancer would be reported during the year — the vast majority of them in men (https://ibn.fm/KpvOR). The organization anticipates that, of the more than 600,000 living patients already diagnosed and treated for bladder cancer at least once, about 17,980 of them will die . Bladder cancer is thus the second most common malignancy of the genitourinary system after prostate adenocarcinoma (https://ibn.fm/MFVl1). It is the fourth most common cancer overall in men, according to the ACS. Bladder cancer has the highest recurrence rate of all cancers at more than 50 percent, meaning patients have significant reason to worry that their cancer will return after surgery.
While Imagin’s initial focus is on improving bladder cancer surgeries, the company intends to expand its technology for other minimally invasive surgical procedures in the future, including laparoscopic, colorectal, and thoracic that use a variety of contrast dye agents, illumination sources and physical entry points.
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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