Start-Up News November 2006
Advances in imaging technologies mean that tiny lung nodules can now be detected, creating a need for technologies for diagnosing and treating lung cancer at early stages. Median Technologies, in computer-assisted detection, PneumRx, with a better biopsy tool, and Perceptronix Medical and Menssana Research, with novel diagnostics, hope to help here.
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Lung cancer is the number one cause of deaths from cancer, in large part because it generally isn't detected until very late stages. At that point, survival rates are low and the only option is radical lung surgery. But now imaging technologies can detect smaller cancers, sooner, and in the wake of the publication of the Early Lung Cancer Action Project, the medical device industry is preparing for a paradigm shift. Start-ups are now developing technologies to remove the barriers in diagnosis and access that hinder therapeutic intervention.
superDimension describes its interventional pulmonology device as a"global positioning system" for the lungs. Based on electromagnetic localization technology, superDimension combines a novel, steerable catheter that can maneuver in the tiny vessels at the lungs' periphery, with image-processing and navigation technologies that allow pulmonologists to visualize in real time the path of the catheter as it moves through the lungs.
The EU will make it mandatory for clinical trial sponsors to prepare layperson summaries of their study results. Industry practices around content presentation, translation and dissemination of these documents will be keenly watched.