A study published in cancer journal, The Lancet Oncology, have ground-breaking findings on Michelson Diagnostics, the UK-based medical device company that use multi-beam Optical Coherence Tomography ('OCT') technology, which can transform patient's treatment and care of basal cell carcinomas (BCC).
It was concluded that OCT-guided diagnosis, when compared to a standard punch biopsy, could reduce the number of consultations and invasive procedures by 66%.
Approximately 75% of skin cancers diagnosed in the UK are basal cell carcinomas. It is the most common form of skin cancer that is rapidly increasing, with it affecting one in five people in the white population in their lifetime. Annually, there are at least 150,000 cases in the UK and the number is growing, due to an aging population and sun exposure trends, creating a major burden on the NHS.
OCT is an advanced laser scanning tool which enables clinicians to non-invasively view below the surface of the skin at much higher resolutions than is possible with other technologies such as MRI or X-ray.
This new study, led by Professor Klara Mosterd and her research group at the University of Maastricht, used a large, randomized, controlled trial of 598 patients where the OCT scanner was pitched against the standard punch biopsy. Treatment decisions were made on the basis of diagnosis and treatment processes were then compared after 12 months, evaluating the rate of cancer recurrence and costs.
Punch biopsy treatment is also often delayed. The OCT diagnosis and treatment plan allows for immediate (same day) treatment. This makes it cost-effective as biopsy, histopathology and separate consultations are not needed.