by Heather Mayer
, DOTmed News Reporter | May 14, 2010
SpectraScience, a California-based technology company, originally turned its focus to early detection of colon and cervical cancer for marketing reasons, CEO Jim Hitchin told DOTmed News in an exclusive interview.
The screening procedures for these cancers are often done by nurse practitioners rather than physicians, he explained.
SpectraScience's technology "has the ability to give an adjunctive tool to spot things that their lesser training may not allow," Hitchin said.
The company is on the cutting edge of colon and cervical cancer early detection technologies. Just last year the company released its WavSTAT Optical Biopsy System and LUMA Cervical Imaging Systems, which screen for colon and cervical cancers, respectively.
When it comes to diagnosing certain cancers early, like cervical cancer, many times doctors don't see precancerous cells, called dysplasia. Hitchin cites a national study that found 200,000 women are sent home each year with abnormal cells that were not detected by their physicians.
Hitchin's technology is used as an additional screening tool to detect cancerous cells for both cervical and colon cancers. Watch the video for a detailed explanation of how the technology works.
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SpectraScience believes its device is faster and possibly more cost-effective than the typical process of sending samples to pathology labs for testing. Recently, the company launched a study in a managed care center to prove the modality's cost-effectiveness.
"The whole idea of managed care is to do it faster, better and at a lower cost," Hitchin said.
Moving forward, SpectraScience is working to get its technology approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for esophageal cancer, often preceded by a condition known as Barrett's Esophagus.
Hitchin pointed out that the national increase in obesity could mean an increase in esophageal cancer. Clinical trials for detecting esophageal cancer have been successful, he said.
Brendon Nafziger contributed to this report.