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Michelson Diagnostics OCT points to fewer invasive biopsies

02 Aug 2022

Clinical trial diagnosing carcinomas suggests faster treatment and reduced patient discomfort.

A clinical study published in The Lancet Oncology has evaluated the potential value of OCT technology in the treatment and care of basal cell carcinomas (BCC).

The trial compared OCT-guided diagnosis of skin lesions with the standard punch biopsies in which small tissue samples are removed using a circular surgical instrument. The VivoSight OCT platform from Michelson Diagnostics was employed in the study, which involved 598 enrolled participants in the Netherlands.

VivoSight is a multi-beam OCT platform employing light beams focused at different depths, designed to provide clinicians with continuous images of the epidermis and superficial dermis of the skin.

The swept-source frequency-domain architecture operates at 1305 nanometers and achieves optical resolution of 7.5 microns in lateral and 5 microns in axial directions, according to the developers. The platform scans a 6 x 6 millimeter patch of skin and produces up to 500 cross-sectional slices per scan.

The recent trial builds on prior investigations by Michelson Diagnostics into use of its VivoSight platform to image skin cancer, which the company has pursued for many years, along with the drive for optical biopsy techniques as alternatives to excision of tissue samples.

Previous VivoSight trials have confirmed that OCT could allow diagnosis of BCC at an earlier stage, and indicated that the technology could reduce biopsies by more than 30 percent.

Reducing the burden of skin biopsies

Results from the new trail, led by Klara Mosterd at the University of Maastricht, go further, indicating that "in 66 percent of patients, a biopsy could be avoided, thus minimizing treatment delay and avoiding an invasive procedure," according to Michelson Diagnostics. The company concludes that OCT diagnosis was proved to be just as worthy as the standard punch biopsy, with the added value of preventing wounds and scarring on patients.

"This thorough, large, randomized clinical trial by an independent and internationally respected dermatology research group provides powerful evidence supporting the use of our revolutionary VivoSight OCT scanner in routine skin cancer care for basal cell carcinoma diagnosis," commented Jon Holmes, CEO of Michelson Diagnostics.

"The study showed that almost two-thirds of patients could with OCT avoid the pain and inconvenience of biopsy, and nearly half then treated with non-surgical methods to avoid cutting and scarring procedures altogether."

The clinical impact is also likely to include economic benefits, given that BCC is the most common form of skin cancer and cases are increasing in number. OCT holds out the prospect of an immediate diagnosis from a scan, enabling same-day treatment rather than multiple follow-up examinations or in-patient stay.

"Reducing the huge burden of skin biopsies will also help over-pressed hospital histopathology services, which may help reduce backlogs for biopsy analysis in skin and other cancers," said Holmes.

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