Israeli Creates Cancer Detection “Game Changer”
No, this report does not divulge a miraculous, newly discovered cure. Curing cancer requires medical miracles. Diagnosing it demands patient participation and medical accuracy. Mammograms, sometimes in conjunction with sonograms and/or biopsies, are the current state of the art diagnostic methodology. The procedures can be uncomfortable, perhaps embarrassing, and involve the risk of radiation or infection. Further, mammography cannot properly image dense breast tissue, and, because of its own inherent danger, is not recommended for routine screening of patients under age 40 or 50. Finally, interpretation relies on a radiologist’s skill.
Breast cancer survival rates are directly impacted by the “stage” at which the cancer is discovered. When the disease is discovered at a late stage, cure may be difficult or impossible. While examination methodologies, ranging from self examination to surgery, have dramatically improved, no major diagnostic breakthrough has occurred in decades. Now, the Israeli company, Real Imaging, founded byelectro-optical engineer Boaz Arnon, has changed that. Arnon, who has 20 years of research and development experience, has developed an early detection technology called “game-changing” by the business journal Israel 21C. The device – already in clinical (human) trials – “avoids radiation, guesswork, discomfort and other downsides that make mammography an imperfect screening tool.” Its accuracy and level of comfort may influence more people to be screened and help more patients avoid late diagnosis.
Real Imaging was founded in 2006, taking as its mission finding an “accurate (diagnostic) alternative that would address all issues of concern and still be cost-effective.” RUTH (Arnon’s mother, Ruth died of breast cancer in 2004) “uses a new trademarked platform call(ed) MIRA (functional Multidimensional Infra-Red Analysis).” Diagnosis is made through “functional quantitative analysis of 3D and infrared signals emitted from cancerous and benign breast tissue.”
Says Arnon, “Our solution is not sensitive to age or breast density, and works without radiation,” “We image the patient from a distance of 70 centimetres (25.5 inches), with no physical contact or radiation, and we have developed an automatic method that aims to detect breast cancer early, easily and as cheaply as possible.” It is effectively an “automatic” mechanism requiring no human interpretation. In clinical trials, the device has proven to be of higher accuracy than current mammography.
“This is not guesswork; it is science,” says the inventor. “We have proof we can explain clinically that our method is working.” The machinery is now in its fifth generation of development. The company is seeking approval both in the EU and from the US Food and Drug Administration the following year. He expects RUTH to cost less than mammography equipment but to initially be used as an adjunct to existing methodologies.
Real Imaging became a public company in 2011, trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.