LED Medical, BC Cancer Agency and Genome BC are partnering to tackle this head on.
Risk assessment has been part of an effective screening protocol for many forms of cancer. The survival rates for patients diagnosed with high profile cancers like breast, cervical, prostate and intestinal cancer, is linked directly to risk assessment and routine screening. In the pursuit of higher oral cancer survival rates, it is a natural progression to look for ways to assess risk and potential disease in order to channel patients through appropriate screening and treatment pathways. LED Medical in conjunction with BC Cancer Agency and Genome BC is looking for ways to develop risk assessment testing.
Being ahead of the curve is a significant approach in fighting cancer and without question, oral cancer screening fits this modus operandi. The question being asked is ‘who, how and where?’ This is where risk assessment becomes crucial to providing an answer.
LED Medical has recently signed an agreement with the British Columbia Cancer Agency and Genome BC to tackle this question head on. LED Medical’s founder, Peter Whitehead outlines the significance of risk assessment and the direct relationship it has to positive outcomes for the patient.
“Throughout the development process, we will strive to create the first test that quantifies the likelihood that a premalignant lesion will progress to cancer. Its potential modality as a minimally invasive, in-office procedure means that high-risk lesions could be diagnosed earlier. The clinician, in turn, can fast-track patients who test positive for a particular genetic marker, called Loss of Heterozygosity (LOH), onto the appropriate disease-management pathway, which will mean less invasive, less costly treatments, and more optimistic long-term prognoses.
Public awareness of oral cancer’s potential threat to health is growing. We also know that the disease is commonly detected in the later stages when invasive treatment is significant and the prognosis often pessimistic. Effective risk assessment, incorporated into the screening process, could be highly beneficial not only in getting high-risk patients timely treatment but also in the pursuit to learn more about the increase in the occurrence of oral disease and oral cancer.