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Raman spectroscopy to diagnose skin cancers


Vancouver, BC – After initial testing at the Skin Care Centre at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and at the BC Cancer Agency, beta units of Verisante Technology Aura are being placed in Calgary and Edmonton, with additional units to be placed in Ontario for tests on consenting patients. The Aura is a non-invasive optical system that uses Raman spectroscopy to biochemically analyze the skin, providing immediate and accurate results. The device will help to automate the current process of diagnosis, allowing rapid scanning of the 20 to 40 skin lesions on at-risk individuals, improving patient outcomes and comfort.

The system is indicated for use for the evaluation of skin lesions that may be clinically suspicious for melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and/or basal cell carcinoma when a medical professional chooses to obtain additional information to rule out one of the above conditions before making a final decision to biopsy.

Field testing is expected to last three to four months, during which both patients and clinicians are blinded to Aura results. As part of the University of British Columbia’s clinical study, the Aura was used to scan approximately 1,000 lesions at the Skin Care Centre at VGH over a six-year period. Results from that study published this year in Cancer Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Association of Cancer Research, showed the Verisante Aura is 99 per cent accurate in differentiating all major skin cancers from benign lesions and the device offers the potential for reducing unnecessary biopsies by 50 to 100 per cent.

Verisante Technology, Inc.