Microscopic imaging technology company OptiScan Imaging is to undertake a study to screen, diagnose and treat oral cancer at the Melbourne Dental School.
The company has received $ 1 million in funding from the Medical Research Future Fund operated by MTPConnect to trial its endomicroscopic technology for real time imaging of human tissue.
The hand-held instrument views tissue with 1,000 times better resolution than a MRI scan, providing instant ‘virtual biopsies’ for cancer screening in real time.
OptiScan CEO Darren Lurie said oral cancer was one of the most common globally with a mortality rate of 50 per cent within five years.
Lurie said: “Despite this there are currently limited tools to identify individuals who are likely to develop oral cancer.
“Our technology is making cancer screening less invasive and more efficient, enabling early diagnosis and surgical treatment.”
Under the trial the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Dental School will test 150 patients over a 12 month period starting in September.
The university’s Professor Michael McCullough said the trial would ascertain how it can use OptiScan’s technology to microscopically see tumour cells in a dental clinic.
He said: “We want to reduce the need for physical biopsies, while ensuring that cancerous tissue is detected as early as possible.”
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