BioLuminate has achieved a breakthrough in the detection and treatment of cancer, with a miniaturized probe that accurately detects cancer in live tissue in real time, and improves patient treatment. There is no disfigurement and no tissue is removed. In past attempts of similar technologies, probes were not real time devices, and they were large in diameter. Consequently, they were not practical as a second level screening test (i.e. post mammography, ultrasound, PSA prostate cancer test, or other non invasive technique of lower accuracy), and did not offer the potential to improve treatment procedures.

NASA reviewed this problem, and determined that if multiple "well proven measurements" could be made at the same point and at the same time, by utilizing a variety of different sensors, then the accuracy would go well above the previous limitations and could approach the gold standard of a surgical biopsy which is 98%. For example, if each sensor was individually only 80% accurate, the combination of just three different sensors would increase the accuracy from 80% to 99%. They then confirmed the viability of this approach with animal tests. Their prototype probe was also a large diameter (11 gauge, size of a straw), and slow to record data.

BioLuminate was created to develop a commercially viable product utilizing the NASA approach. Five important breakthroughs were needed.

  • First, the probe needed to be accurate, combining several already proven measurements unique only to cancer and confirmed in many previous tests at major institutions such as Harvard & MIT.

  • Second, it had to be small, the size of a blood test needle (20 gauge).

  • Third, there could be no practical delay in recording the data, as a physician inserted the needle into the patient. For this to occur, it had to record data at 100 times per second.

  • Fourth, data needed to be recorded along the entire needle track, so that the depth of the needle was not a critical factor as in core needle biopsies or fine needle aspirations (which must be precisely positioned). Tumor margins could then be distinguished easily. This would significantly improve accuracy, allow the probe to be "hand held", and assist the physician during surgery or therapy delivery.

  • Fifth, the price of the probe needed to be under approximately $350, the average reimbursement price of a disposable core biopsy needle.

BioLuminate, in conjunction with scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, succeeded at achieving the above goals. We have successfully tested 23 patients in-vivo, with the first multisensor probe. All patients were properly diagnosed when compared to pathology results. To our knowledge, there is no other device in the world today that has achieved this breakthrough.


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