- Bladder cancer is the 6th most prevalent cancer in the United States and a problem worldwide
- Bladder cancer is more common in men than women at a 4:1 ratio
- Bladder cancer treatment has the highest cost per patient over the course of a lifetime because of its greater than 50% recurrence rate
- Surgeons, including urologists at the University of Washington, have adopted a solution that uses blue light and a contrast agent to better visualize bladder tumors and has been shown to be more successful and reduce costs
- Imagin Medical has taken this solution one step further by developing the i/Blue Imaging System(TM)
- Imagin’s patented technology is expected to be completed next year, after final manufacturing and FDA approval has been received
Urologists at the University of Washington’s research school of medicine in Seattle discussed a blue light cystoscopy system they use that allows “surgeons to better identify non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer,” and improve resection without leaving cells behind to cause recurrence (https://ibn.fm/sdSC9).
This tool will allow us to do better resections and hopefully improve bladder cancer survival,” UW urology professor Dr. Jonathan Wright stated in a UW Medicine news release (https://ibn.fm/tstAU).
Blue light cystoscopy has been gaining popularity in surgical circles which will be an advantage for Imagin Medical when they enter the market. It involves using a blue light cystoscope inserted through the urethra to detect (with a small camera) tumors that has been fluoresced by a drug that specifically adheres to bladder tumors, better revealing the tumors and their contours. Boston-based Imagin Medical (CSE: IME) (OTCQB: IMEXF) is preparing to launch manufacturing of the i/Blue(TM) Imaging System, a patented technology that will further improve blue light cystoscopies for surgeons and patients.
Imagin’s i/Blue Imaging System advances the blue light procedure by allowing surgeons to see the bladder wall under both white and blue light simultaneously in side-by-side presentation, whereas existing systems require surgeons to toggle back and forth between white and blue during the course of the procedure. Imagin is advancing toward manufacturing and FDA approval of its solution.
Bladder tumor resection involves using an electrified loop to scrape away the tumor from the bladder wall while cauterizing the area to stop bleeding, Wright said (https://ibn.fm/emeiQ). The surgeon’s intent is to remove non-invasive tumors before they penetrate into the muscle, if possible, and o head off a need for more significant treatment such as removing the bladder or using chemotherapy, and to reduce the potential for eventually fatal metastasis of the cancers.
Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and directly resulted in more than 17,000 deaths during the past year in the United States, with similar statistics anticipated for 2021 (https://ibn.fm/fUKFU), according to the American Cancer Society.
Seventy percent of bladder cancer patients have non-muscle-invasive disease. That’s the population who can benefit,” Wright added in the news release. “One of the things that we have to do as urologists when we’re evaluating patients with bladder cancer is, the surgical role of resecting is very critical. We need to avoid under-staging and make sure that we’re accurately staging the depth of the tumor invasion, if there is any, because it so much impacts the recommendations.”
Despite those efforts, Daniel Schneider, President and CEO of Photocure ASA, the developer of the tumor-staining chemical, noted in the company’s most recent quarterly earnings report that the high rate of recurrence of bladder cancer makes it important to prepare patients for the possibility expensive repeat procedures in the future.
“(Bladder cancer treatment) is most expensive. And I think that often shocks people. It’s the highest per patient lifetime treatment cost of any cancer,” Schneider said (https://ibn.fm/CkplM). “And the reason is the patients, once diagnosed, will go through a lifetime of procedures. Its recurrence rates are also quite astoundingly high, up 61 percent within the first one year of being diagnosed and 78 percent reoccurrence rates within five years. … It’s key to keep the patient, if you can, in a non-muscle invasive category where treatments are much less invasive.”
The aim of Imagin’s patented i/Blue technology is to ultimately reduce the expense patients will have to deal with and improve their chances of survival. A recent report by Urology Times states that the cost of early intervention in resecting bladder tumors under blue light procedures declined by $4,660 over five years compared with use of white light cystoscopy alone and led to a lower overall burden for patients (https://ibn.fm/qjJCW). A more complete elimination of tumors would be expected to result in reduced cancer progression.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.ImaginMedical.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IMEXF are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/IMEXF
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