Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a ComfortScan® system and how much does it cost?
The ComfortScan system is an advanced digital-imaging system that uses high-intensity light-emitting diodes (LEDs), gentle external pressure, a low-noise charged-coupled device (CCD) camera, and proprietary image-processing algorithms to highlight areas of abnormal vascularization in the breast. The technology is based on detecting tumor angiogenesis, the growth of a dense network of tiny blood-filled capillaries that surround a tumor. Initially, the Company will introduce the ComfortScan system as an adjunct to x-ray mammography. Pricing is expected to be competitive with analog mammography systems and ultrasound devices, but it should market at about one third of the price of the new digital mammography systems.
How does it work?
The ComfortScan system's high-intensity, light-emitting diodes transmit near-infrared light through the breast, recording several images per second via a CCD camera for approximately 45 seconds. As the red light encounters the angiogenic region of the breast, it is absorbed by the different concentrations of hemoglobin in that area of the breast, in contrast to the normal portions of the breast. As a result, the ComfortScan system focuses on dynamic functional imaging (i.e., what is occurring within the tissue in near real-time) rather than a singular morphological image (i.e., a static anatomical snapshot showing physical details at a single point in time) such as those created by mammography.
What is angiogenesis and why is it important?
Angiogenesis is the growth of new blood vessels in the body, a type of vascular change. It is an important, natural process that occurs both in health and disease. Angiogenesis occurs in the healthy body for healing wounds and for restoring blood flow. The healthy body controls angiogenesis through a series of "on" and "off" switches, maintaining a perfect balance between these angiogenesis modulators. However, in a diseased state, the body loses control over the angiogenesis process. Angiogenesis-dependent diseases result when new blood vessels either grow excessively or insufficiently. Excessive angiogenesis occurs in the development of cancers. New blood vessels feed the cancer, allowing a tumor to grow up to 16,000 times in size (sometimes in a matter of weeks). At the same time, cancer cells escape into the circulation via the blood vessels and lodge into other organs (metastasis).
According to the most recent scientific research from the Angiogenesis Foundation, angiogenesis is associated with virtually every type of cancer known. Furthermore, angiogenesis is an underlying indicator in more than 70 conditions, including cardiac disease, arthritis, AIDS, ophthalmic and skin diseases, as well as other solid tumors. Angiogenesis can also impact surgical incisions, trauma-related injuries, and ulcers that rely on the angiogenic process for healing. The Angiogenesis Foundation estimates that more than 500 million cases of angiogenesis-based disease are currently afflicting patients in the western world.
DOBI Medical's technology is built on its ability to identify angiogenesis non-invasively, thus providing a new tool to potentially assist physicians in the diagnosis of virtually all cancers, including breast cancer.