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University of Southern California Receives Cancer Diagnosis System for Detecting Esophageal Dysplasia
Date:10/1/2008

cated, multiple physical biopsies are taken to check for pathology of dysplasia or cancer. During endoscopic examination, diseased tissue is not always visually apparent, especially at the pre-malignant stages. As a result, physicians take physical biopsies at visually suspicious areas, oftentimes randomly, in an effort to find diseased tissue.

The clinical use of the WavSTAT System to improve the endoscopist's clinical sensitivity in identifying dysplasia or cancer in the esophagus will be evaluated. The hypothesis that the sensitivity of a WavSTAT-assisted endoscopic examination improves that of standard endoscopy alone will be tested. If this hypothesis is correct, the physician should be able to take fewer physical biopsies, decrease the duration of the exam and minimize discomfort of the patient.

Background

Acid reflux, or heartburn, is a common ailment experienced by almost all adults at some point in their lives. As many as 44% of adults in the United States report having heartburn at least once a month; 14% report having it weekly and 7% experience it daily. If heartburn occurs often, or other symptoms such as difficulty swallowing or weight loss develop, a diagnosis of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is considered. It is reported that approximately 50 million Americans have GERD symptoms. In most cases, GERD is benign, however, when GERD symptoms are frequent or chronic, a patient should be considered as a candidate to receive an endoscopy of the esophagus.

Barrett's esophagus is a disease of the lower esophagus thought to be caused primarily by GERD. Approximately 10-20% of GERD patients are believed to have Barrett's esophagus. In Barrett's, the lining of the esophagus changes to a type of tissue similar to that sometimes found in the small intestine called intestinal metaplasia. Currently, Barrett's can only be confirmed by examination of tissue biopsies obtained during an endoscopy of the esophagus.

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SOURCE SpectraScience, Inc.
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