Partnership Between UR Medical Center and Lucid, Inc. Will Help Bring New Imaging Device to Market
July 13, 2001
Medical Center researchers will help develop guidelines for use of laser microscope to diagnose skin problems.
The University of Rochester Medical Center and Lucid, Inc., have begun a novel collaboration aimed at helping Lucid move its new laser microscope into the marketplace.
Dermatology researchers in the Medical Center will help Lucid develop guidelines and a pictorial atlas that will help physicians use Lucid's VivaScope® device - a laser confocal microscope that lets physicians peer below the surface layers of the skin to diagnose problems such as skin cancer without a painful surgical biopsy.
Lucid has installed a VivaScope® system in the Department of Dermatology, where researchers have begun using it to study various types of skin lesions, ranging from benign skin conditions to skin cancer. The researchers will provide Lucid with valuable information drawn from their work, including:
· Descriptions of the tell-tale features visible through the VivaScope® device that link an individual cell to a specific disease or condition. Different types of diseased cells can be distinguished from one another by differences in their size and shape, the shape of their nucleus, and other features.
· Digital images of hundreds of skin lesions that have been diagnosed with a specific disease or condition. Lucid will use the images to produce a pictorial atlas that will serve as a reference tool for physicians using the VivaScope® system.
· Based on their experience with the VivaScope® system, the researchers will advise Lucid on how many sites within a skin lesion should be examined in order to render an accurate diagnosis. These recommendations will help Lucid develop medical guidelines for using the VivaScope.
"This is a crucial collaboration that brings together the key elements required to bring sophisticated medical technology to market," said Jay Eastman, Lucid president and CEO. "The Medical Center's research activities and participation in clinical studies will provide the important information and feedback we need to insure the product we plan on introducing early next year is a complete and effective solution for non-invasive diagnosis of skin cancers and other diseases of the skin". Lucid will introduce a small handheld version of its VivaScopeÒ device at next year's annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology.
The VivaScope will also enable researchers to undertake studies of skin lesions that have been all but impossible previously. "Because the VivaScope offers an easy and painless alternative to surgical biopsies, we can use it repeatedly on patients to monitor the changes in their skin lesions over time," said Alice Pentland, M.D., chair of the Department of Dermatology and medical director of the Center for Future Health. Pentland plans to use the VivaScope in a research study aimed at identifying the subtle changes that occur in the cells of skin lesions as they begin to turn cancerous. The results could help doctors detect skin cancer in its earliest stages. "If we can identify the early cellular changes that may signal cancer, we can begin treatment very early and give patients the best possible chances for a good outcome," said Pentland.
Lucid and the Medical Center hope to expand their collaboration to women's health issues, including the application of VivaScope technology to the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer and gynecological cancers.
Lucid, a Rochester, NY based company, is an innovator and leader in developing real-time medical diagnostic aids for cancer screening and evaluation of diseased tissue. Lucid combines its patented Internet and VivaScope® confocal imaging technologies to create solutions that are focused on improving patient outcomes and the standard of care. For more information on the Company, visit its web site at http://www.lucid-tech.com.