Optical biopsy for bladder cancer diagnostics

CHALLENGE Current imaging techniques for bladder cancer only visualize the bladder wall surface. This impairs the diagnosis and can lead to healthy tissue being classified as cancerous tissue during screening, resulting in unneeded interventions. Also, it is difficult to identify the borders of the tumor, which means that the tumor is often not fully removed. This results in a second intervention within 6 weeks after the initial intervention. The high amount of unnecessary interventions leads to an increased patient burden and an increase in costs.

OPPORTUNITY Every year over 350.000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer worldwide. When bladder cancer is discovered in an early state, it has a high survival rate (>80%). However, bladder cancer is also associated with a high recurrence rate. This means that regular follow up cystoscopy for at least 5 years after the last recurrence is found and removed is very important. As 2.7 million people worldwide have (a history of) bladder cancer, this makes bladder cancer the most costly cancer from diagnosis to death.

SOLUTION Scinvivo is developing an imaging catheter which will allow the urologist to look up to 3 mm inside the tissue of the bladder wall. The  catheter acquires an ‘optical biopsy’, which provides the same diagnostic
information as a real biopsy, but non-invasive and real-time. With this optical biopsy the urologist can differentiate cancerous tissue from healthy tissue and define the muscle invasiveness of the tumor, during cystoscopy. Therefore, Scinvivos imaging catheter enables the urologist to improve diagnosis, leading to a reduction of unnecessary interventions, patient burden, and costs.

STATUS go to: Scinvivo.com