New Imaging Technologies in Biopsy Devices to improve Cancer Diagnosis

Technological Advancements lead to design of potential diagnostic tool for a range of non-invasive tumor characterization and biopsy procedures in diagnosis of various types of cancer

Biopsy is a medical procedure that involves surgical removal of a sample of tissue or cells from an organ to detect abnormal growth of a tissue which includes identifying cancerous cells, lesions, tumor or mass. The procedure is done to determine the presence or progression of a disease—often to diagnose cancer or any inflammatory condition. Biopsy is usually recommended when initial tests suggest an area of tissue is not normal. It is an important diagnostic procedure when no obvious cause of abnormality is detected; most often, biopsies help determine the best therapy for an illness. Surgeons, interventional cardiologists, radiologists, and healthcare providers use different types of biopsy procedures depending on the condition and the organ tissue under review, such as the lungs, liver, and kidney. Almost all types of biopsies involve the application of a sharp tool such as needle to remove a small portion of suspicious tissue.

Advanced imaging technology augments the reliability of biopsy devices in prostate cancer

Often, conventional devices are preferably supplemented with advanced imaging technologies such as MRI-guided biopsy, stereotactic-guided biopsy, magnetic resonance-guided ultrasound biopsy, and CT scan, to enhance the accuracy of the biopsy procedure and make it minimally invasive. Prostate cancer has become a disturbing public health concern in many industrialized countries and is one of the most common cancer diseases found among men. Oncologists and scientists assert that imaging of prostate-specific membrane antigen leads to highly accurate detection of tumor and its removal in biopsy procedure. The significance of prostate-specific molecular imaging technology was revealed by the researchers at recently concluded conference 2016 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) at California. Positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) are proven technologies used to find the physiological function and structure of recurrent prostate cancer. Recent findings confirm that prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-PET/CT significantly increases the accuracy of results in biopsy. Though it is yet to become a standard in biopsy guidance, researchers confer that it has emerged as a promising tool for a range of non-invasive tumor characterization and biopsy procedures.

Innovative devices make biopsy less painful and minimally invasive in esophageal & breast cancer

Technological advancements in the imaging technologies used in conjunction with various biopsy devices have made biopsy less painful and invasive. The application of advanced imaging technology helps in avoiding the under- and over treatment of prostate cancer impossible through conventional magnetic resonance-guided ultrasound biopsy. Biomechanical modeling, along with extensive insights on TRUS appearance of tumors, has emerged as a far accurate method when compared to MR-guided prostate biopsy; the method increases the visibility of prostate lesions, enabling the radiologist and clinicians to accurately target prostate lesions.

Various device innovations have helped the interventional radiologists to obtain a tissue sample from the deep parts of a patient’s body and increased the accuracy of final diagnosis. Researchers have invented a new brush technology to be used with traditional biopsy to increase the detection of high-grade dysplasia and/or early esophageal adenocarcinoma in patients suffering from certain types of esophageal cancer. Known as wide area transepithelial sampling (WATS), this is more reliable and accurate than 4-quadrant forceps biopsy used in diagnosis of high-grade dysplasia or early-stage cancer. WATS is used in conjunction with standard biopsy protocol and utilizes a brush technology to scrape suspicious tissue, which is then processed by radiologists; however, researchers caution WATS can only supplement, not replace, standard biopsy protocols. Technological enhancements in the devices to perform biopsy procedure have led to increasing comfort for patients and making it less painful & time-consuming. Recent design of a cutting edge technology in Ohio has enabled patients to be more comfortable when undergoing breast biopsy. The new affirm breast biopsy guidance system installed in Images Mammography Center located at Trinity Health System, allows patients to sit upright while undergoing the biopsy procedure; clinicians confirm that the process is comfortable and takes only about five minutes. Needle biopsy or tru-cut core biopsy is preferred to open biopsy that includes fine needle aspiration in the initial stages to identify a breast lump.

Market Potential

Analysts at Allied Market Research tracking the technological trends and recent dynamics in cancer diagnostics devices segment expect the biopsy device market to occupy a significant share worldwide. As per a recent report, titled “World Biopsy Devices Market - Opportunities and Forecasts, 2014—2022”, the world biopsy devices market generated $1,621 million in 2015 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2016 to 2022. Increasing incidences of cancer such as breast, prostate, and lung, along with significant technological advancements are factors that boost the growth of the biopsy devices market across regions. However, high cost and unawareness for the diagnosis of chronic diseases coupled with lack of technical expertise are factors that hinder the adoption of advanced biopsy devices across the developing countries. Companies and manufacturers actively develop cost-effective biopsy devices to significantly lower the overall cost of advanced procedures, creating more growth opportunities in the market. 

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