Skin cancer is the most frequent cancer type and it is becoming increasingly common. Currently, a doctor or dermatologist makes a diagnosis, starting with a visual examination of the skin surface. If they observe anything suspicious, they take out a biopsy. The biopsy is examined under a microscope to determine if cancer cells are present.
The current method is not ideal. It is painful, costly, time-consuming, and unreliable to some extent: around 60% of the biopsies do not show signs of cancer while around 20% of skin cancers are missed at an early stage.
New medical imaging device replaces biopsies
The LC-OCT device is a new handheld imaging probe that looks deep into the skin, both the dermis and epidermis, in real-time. The device offers high-resolution images to the dermatologist who immediately can tell cancer cells from healthy cells. It’s reliable, painless, fast, and inexpensive.
DAMAE Medical has developed the device based on the Line-field Confocal Optical Coherence Tomography (LC-OCT) imaging technology, powered by the SuperK supercontinuum laser from NKT Photonics. The broad spectrum of light from the SuperK laser enables to deliver high-resolution images that replace the need for biopsies. Instead, LC-OCT produces “optical biopsies”.
From high-tech research labs to clinics
The two companies have worked together under the Eurostar financing program to combine the cutting-edge LC-OCT technology, developed by DAMAE Medical, with the innovative supercontinuum laser technology provided by NKT Photonics.
Throughout Europe, DAMAE Medical is currently undergoing clinical trials to validate the accuracy of LC-OCT diagnostics in onco-dermatology. It will be released for sale later this year.