TRIMIRA(TM) LLC to Introduce First-of-Its-Kind Device To Aid Dentists & Doctors in Detecting Oral Cancer
Growing at Alarming 11% Rate, Oral Cancer is Overlooked, Yet More Deadly Than Breast, Cervical, or Prostate Cancers
HOUSTON, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Without a truly effective and affordable device to aid in early detection, dentists, hygienists, and doctors have been fighting an uphill battle against a silent killer -- oral cancer, which has reached epidemic levels (11 percent annual growth rate) due in part to unsafe practices like oral sex.
Filling the Early-Detection Technology Vacuum
Houston-based TRIMIRA(TM) LLC is stepping into the technology breach with a next-generation cancer-screening device that will change the diagnostic landscape for doctors and dentists. The device will be unveiled at the 144th Midwinter Meeting of the Chicago Dental Society to be held at McCormick Place Thu.-Sun., Feb. 26-Mar. 1.
Called Identafi(TM) 3000, the new device consists of a three-wavelength optical illumination and visualization system housed in a small cordless handheld unit specifically designed for use by dentists, periodontists, oral surgeons, otolaryngologists, and primary-care physicians.
Identafi(TM) 3000 is unlike anything in the dental/doctor detection tool kit because it lets those on the front line of detection to catch early signs and stages of oral cancer and pre-cancer that are often missed by the naked eye -- which is currently the main (and ineffectual) means of early detection.
Identafi(TM) 3000 enables doctors and dentists to identify biochemical and morphological changes in the cells of the mouth, throat, tongue, and tonsils.
"As they work to accurately and immediately screen for both pre-cancer and cancer, the medical community has a crying need for technology that not only will reliably deliver enhanced specificity, sensitivity, and efficacy, but is inexpensive enough that every doctor and dentist's office can carry it," TRIMIRA(TM) VP Jerry S. Trzeciak explained.
"Oral cancer kills one person every hour of every day, " he said. "The way to stop it is through early detection, and that means getting every doctor and every dentist involved in that effort."
Accuracy Is Key to Lowering Oral Cancer Rates
Trzeciak noted that oral cancer has become a true epidemic due to the lack of effective, broad-based early detection programs. In fact, the oral cancer death rate now surpasses that from breast, cervical, or prostate cancers. The rise in oral cancer has occurred despite decreased use of tobacco products. The reason is the disease's link to the HPV 16 and 18 viruses.
One of the most common virus groups in the world, HPV (human papilloma virus) affects the skin and mucosal areas of the body. More than 100 types of HPV have been identified.
"Trimira's multispectral Identafi(TM) technology platform allowed for development of a device that combines three separate wavelengths to visualize both fluorescence and reflectance images in the oral cavity," he said. "Trimira's oral cancer screening device can spot the location of pre-cancerous cells and determine the extent of the disease in the area being screened."
Oral cancer is often detected late in its development, when the possibility of metastasis is far greater. Like most cancers, cancer of the lip and oral cavity are best treated when found early.
Metastasis is the spread of a disease from one organ or body part to another nonadjacent organ or body part. Only malignant tumor cells and infections have the capacity to metastasize. Cancer cells can break away or spill from a primary tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system, and thus circulate to and infect normal tissues.
Trzeciak added: "This new technology is huge, and has the potential to transform the landscape of early detection." He noted that Identafi(TM) 3000 recently received FDA approval.
Oral Cancer Strategy Hinges on Early Detection
Early detection of oral cancer translates into cure rates of greater than 80 percent, which is one reason why the American Cancer Society (ACS) and American Dental Association (ADA) both recommend opportunistic screening for oral cancer.
Yet the National Cancer Institute estimates that only 20 percent of the U.S. population receives an annual oral examination. In fact, the ADA estimates that while 60 percent of the U.S. population visits a dentist every year, fewer than 15 percent of those who regularly visit a dentist report actually having received an oral cancer screening.
Not surprisingly, 40 percent of those diagnosed with oral cancer will die within five years because the majority of those cases will be discovered only as a late-stage malignancy.
Oral cancer is so dangerous because so few patients notice symptoms of the disease in its early stages. It can progress without causing pain or obvious signs. As a result, oral cancer often goes undetected until it has metastasized and spread to another part of the body.
"The bottom line is that we need population-based screening programs to catch the disease as early as possible," Trzeciak said. "It's the only way we're going to beat oral cancer."
About TRIMIRA(TM) LLC
TRIMIRA(TM) LLC is a subsidiary of Remicalm LLC, a privately held medical diagnostic and imaging device company, and is its first subsidiary. Other subsidiaries are working on screening and diagnostic devices for skin, cervical, gastrointestinal, and bladder cancers. Remicalm targets certain female cancers with its optical processing technology for cancer of the cervix. Remicalm, as the parent company, has licensed exclusive use of certain of its patents and patents pending for use as a cervical cancer product to be later expanded to include additional epithelial based cancers. Remicalm's core technologies are based on high-speed, high-resolution capabilities from its patented optical processing technology platforms and include the ability to read metabolic and physiologic differences in diseased and healthy tissue in the human body.
Visit TRIMIRA(TM) at: http://www.trimira.net/
SOURCE TRIMIRA(TM) LLC