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Early detection of cancer: The FDA approves procedure discovered by EPFL researchers
Date:6/14/2010

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland have established a procedure where cancerous tumors in the bladder become fluorescent and are more easily discoverable under blue light. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the technique already in practice in Europe for the American market. Under the name Cysview, the product is commercialized by Photocure and GE Healthcare as the most efficient detection technique for early stage bladder cancer.

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and the eighth most common in women in the US. Being extremely difficult to detect in its early stages, even by the trained eye of a urologist, the importance of increasing its detectability is paramount for the complete removal of the tumors which helps to delay tumor recurrence.

Helping diagnostics and surgical removal

Cysview is instilled in the bladder. After penetrating the bladder wall it is metabolized mainly by the malignant cells, causing them to produce a fluorescent compound. The doctor then examines the bladder with an endoscope camera equipped with a blue light system: the tumors appear as easily-recognizable red spots. The procedure is not only helpful in diagnosing cancer, it is also useful for the surgeon when removing these small tumors, as he can be assured that the tumor is completely removed when no fluorescence remains.

"With Cysview, even a child can recognize these tumors", says Hubert van den Bergh, head of the project at EPFL. Then, he shows several examples where tumors have been forced out of hiding.

American experts have noticed a significant improvement with Cysview, compared to standard white light cystoscopy. A fact that is also supported in Europe with Hexvix, the European name for the product: experts have shown that the rate of recurrence of bladder cancer is significantly lower after treatment.

Application to other types
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Contact: Georges Wagnires
georges.wagnieres@epfl.ch
41-787-423-511
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne
Source:Eurekalert  

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