Summary: In treating brain cancers, neurosurgeons face a critical decision: remove too little tissue and risk fatal recurrences or remove too much and cause profound neurological damage. Presently, they rely on pre-operative surgical navigation technologies, such as MRI, in order to determine the contours of the cancerous tissue to be safely removed. These surgical navigation systems, in conjunction with surgical microscopes, can generally identify the tumor bulk, but fail to identify the extent of cancer cell invasion in tissues at the margin. Largely because MR imaging fails to identify invasive cancer cells. This is critical because over 85% of recurrences are generated from incomplete removal of cancer cells along the margin, and almost 100% of patients who survive past 6 months experience recurrences.
The Sentry system uses a hand-held optical probe to pinpoint cancerous tissue for removal, often centimeters past the margins identified by conventional technologies. Using an optical effect, known as Raman spectroscopy to recognize the molecular signature of cancers, it’s machine learning algorithm can distinguish between normal and cancerous tissue, all in a fraction of a second, with a demonstrated accuracy over 90%. Sentry is label-free and real-time. We believe the system can deliver more cost-effective surgeries, and better patient outcomes in a range of solid tumors.
Need: Margin assessment is a critical problem in the surgical treatment of cancers, with incomplete removal of cancers leading to repeated surgeries, more aggressive and expensive adjuvant treatments. For example, in Brain cancers, one of the most aggressive of common tumor types, over 85% of recurrences are generated from incomplete removal of cancer cells along the margin, and almost 100% of patients who survive past 6 months experience recurrences.
Value: ODS Medical’s system promises more cost-effective surgical treatment, with more complete resections leading to reduced recurrences, and better patient outcomes while improving effectiveness of adjuvant treatments. Our target per-use cost is $2,000 and if we can add just 3 months of survival benefit, we will be 6 times as cost-effective as present standard of care adjuvant therapies while adding less than 10% to the cost of the surgical procedures.