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Revolutionising Cancer Care: Innovations in Early-Stage Detection

by Henry Duah

Early-stage cancer detection has emerged as a critical frontier in the fight against cancer, offering unprecedented opportunities to enhance patient outcomes and reduce mortality rates. Timely identification of cancer at its incipient stages allows for more effective treatment interventions, significantly improving the chances of successful outcomes. According to recent statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO), early detection can lead to a 30% to 50% reduction in cancer mortality. The impact of early detection is particularly evident in specific cancer types, such as breast and colorectal cancers, where survival rates significantly increase when the disease is diagnosed at an early, localised stage. As we delve into the realm of early cancer detection, it becomes increasingly evident that innovative technologies, biomarkers, and screening methodologies are playing pivotal roles in reshaping the landscape of cancer diagnostics. This week, we’re showcasing some global health-tech companies contributing to the fight against cancer with early-stage detection technologies and innovation:

DermaSensor  [United States and Australia, Est. 2009] is a company that offers a non-invasive skin cancer evaluation device and platform. Their handheld device uses light to scan skin lesions and detect properties consistent with malignancy at a cellular and subcellular level. The device provides an immediate, objective result, helping physicians assess skin lesions and make referral decisions. DermaSensor’s technology has a published sensitivity of 96% for detecting skin cancer and uses Elastic Scattering Spectroscopy (ESS) to analyse how photons scatter when reflected off different cellular structures. This information can aid in the evaluation and monitoring of skin lesions, potentially improving early detection and treatment outcomes for skin cancer.

Geneseeq Technology [Canada and China, Est. 2012] is a precision oncology company that specialises in genomic profiling technology for cancer care. They offer a diverse range of genomic testing and research services to support human health. With a focus on quality and efficiency, Geneseeq works closely with healthcare providers to provide actionable insights for treatment decisions and therapy development. Geneseeq is committed to advancing precision cancer care through its innovative solutions. Geneseeq offers early cancer detection using multi-omics biomarkers and their proprietary healthcare innovations. To date, they have sequenced over 900,000 clinical samples to help improve patients’ lives.

MiRXES [Singapore, Est. 2014] is a company that harnesses the power of RNA to deliver early, actionable, and personalised diagnoses across the care continuum to improve and save lives. Their focus is on disease early detection and interception, to prevent late-stage cancer diagnoses. MiRXES product, GASTROClear, helps early detection and screening for gastric (stomach) cancer. Gastric cancer is one of the top 5 deadliest cancers worldwide, but it is curable if detected early. GASTROClear offers a convenient and minimally invasive blood test that assesses the risk of gastric cancer by measuring the levels of specific microRNAs associated with the disease. This test allows doctors to identify individuals at risk and take proactive measures for early intervention and treatment.

AOA Dx [United States, Est. 2020] is a pioneering company in the field of glycolipids utilising tumour marker gangliosides as the next class of biomarkers in early cancer detection. Their revolutionary AI-enabled platform, GlycoLocate™, combines biomarkers with data science to provide remarkable insights into early cancer detection. AOA Dx is dedicated to bringing impactful and cost-effective medical technologies from research and development into the hands of health providers and patients for cancer detection and treatment. Currently, AOA Dx is focusing on ovarian cancer detection and treatment with plans to expand its services in the future.

The landscape of early cancer detection is witnessing remarkable transformations through innovative technologies and pioneering startups. As highlighted, advancements in skin cancer evaluation, genomic profiling, RNA-based diagnostics, AI-powered pathology solutions, and glycolipid biomarkers are reshaping the way we approach cancer diagnosis and care. These transformative developments underscore the importance of ongoing research efforts in the field of early cancer detection, emphasising the potential to revolutionise cancer care and substantially reduce the global burden of this devastating disease.

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