Technology | October 06, 2009

NCI Grants $2.5M to Non-Invasive Cervical Cancer Detection Device

October 6, 2009 - The National Cancer Institute (NCI) awarded Guided Therapeutics, Inc. (GT) a $2.5 million matching grant to bring to market and expand the array features for its LightTouch non-invasive cervical cancer detection technology.

LightTouch uses proprietary technology to identify cancers and precancers quickly by analyzing light reflected from the cervix. The device creates an image of the cervix for the doctor that highlights the location and severity of disease. The technology distinguishes between normal and diseased tissue by detecting biochemical and morphological changes at the cellular level.

The grant provides significant resources for GT to begin manufacturing LightTouch devices and disposables for an international launch, and apply for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pre-market approval (PMA) application.

Including the new award, the company has been awarded approximately $6 million in six consecutive grants from the NCI to develop the new, pain-free test for detecting cervical disease.

The GT LightTouch technology systematically and rapidly scans the cervix to identify cancer and pre-cancer painlessly and non-invasively, by analyzing the wavelengths of light reflected from cervical tissue. The technology distinguishes between normal and diseased tissue, by detecting biochemical and morphological changes at the cellular level. Unlike Pap or HPV tests, the LightTouch test does not require a tissue sample or laboratory analysis, and is designed to provide results immediately. The technology is designed as a device employing a single-use disposable patient interface.

Since development of the technology began, more than 3,000 women have been tested with the LightTouch, including more than 1,900 women who were evaluated as part of the FDA pivotal clinical trial.

According to studies published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease, the non-invasive LightTouch test has the potential to be significantly more accurate when compared to tissue sample-based tests such as the Pap smear.

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