A Medical Device Daily

Radiology experts from China, Korea, Japan and the UK convened as a steering committee group in London last month to draw up plans for the first pan-Asia CTC (Computed Tomography Colonography) Congress.

Congresses and workshops specializing in CTC already take place annually in Europe and North America. The organizers of the Asian meeting said the rising prevalence of colorectal cancer in Asia necessitates a meeting in that region to ensure the exchange of scientific and professional information about colorectal cancer screening and to encourage increased adoption of CTC by Asian radiologists.

Steve Halligan, of University College Hospital (London), chair of the steering committee, said, “There are a great number of healthcare professionals in Asia who are not being given the training opportunities that are available in Europe and the U.S. Their involvement in these educational initiatives could ultimately provide patients with better access to cutting-edge diagnostic technologies.”

The organizers said the Asia-Pacific region contributes almost half of the world’s cancer deaths. Colorectal cancer is the world’s second most prevalent cancer and is the cause of roughly 75,000 deaths annually in Eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia) and the figure is rising.

Among individuals diagnosed with colorectal cancer, survival is highly dependent on how advanced the disease is at diagnosis. Five-year survival is 90% if the disease is diagnosed while confined by the bowel wall but only 65% once it has spread to the lymph nodes and 9% if it has spread throughout the body.

Most colorectal cancers arise from precursor lesions in the large intestine called “adenomatous polyps.” Screening is important because it means that adenomatous polyps can be removed before they become cancerous. Screening also detects asymptomatic cancer, which has a better prognosis than symptomatic disease.

There are a number of CTC screening tools available, each with advantages and disadvantages.

Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard for screening for colon cancer; however, data presented at last year’s American College of Radiology Imaging Network meeting showed that CTC is at least as sensitive as conventional colonoscopy in detecting adenomas of 1 cm diameter or larger. CTC is a less invasive option and unlike conventional colonoscopy, there is no need for the patient to undergo sedation and the risk of symptomatic colon perforation is much less.

According to Dr. Stuart Taylor of University College Hospital, a faculty member of the steering committee, “In Asia, a broad multi-detector computerized tomography (MDCT) infrastructure exists that could support colorectal cancer screening by CTC. This pan-Asia CTC Congress will certainly provide radiologists with the opportunity to be trained in CTC by some of the world’s finest specialists and raise awareness of the importance of colorectal cancer screening.”

In addition to offering “hands on” training workshops, the congress will encourage research collaboration among delegates and help to foster and cement relationships within the Asian radiology and gastroenterology community.

Medicsight (London), a developer of computer-aided detection and image analysis software for the medical imaging market, will provide an educational grant to facilitate logistical support for the inaugural meeting.

Lifeline to test First Warning System in China

Lifeline Biotechnologies (Reno, Nevada) said it expects to be testing its First Warning System technology, which is designed to assist in the detection of breast cancer, on patients at a hospital associated with Nanyang Technical University in Singapore this year.

The company said the results will be used to further the improvement of the First Warning System.

A recent Time magazine article noted that by 2020, 70% of all breast cancer cases worldwide are expected to occur in developing countries. Asian women in particular tend to have denser breast tissue, and many studies show that dense tissue is up to five times as likely to develop malignancies.

The article also said that such tissue can conceal the disease, since both tumors and healthy tissue may show up white on a mammogram. In many developing countries, women tend to ignore signs of breast cancer because they simply do not want to talk about it or they cannot afford the consequences.

“This article provides us with an insider view on women and breast cancer in other countries, specifically Asia. Lifeline wants to target women on a worldwide basis and use our test results from Singapore to ensure that the First Warning System is as comprehensive and accurate as possible so that it can assist in the detection of breast cancer in the early stages,” said Lifeline CEO Jim Holmes, CEO of Lifeline.

Biomet invests in China production site

Orthopedic developer Biomet (Warsaw, Indiana) has signed an agreement with the Changzhou National Hi-Tech District in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, making an investment of $15 million, mainly for the production of orthopedic implants and other medical devices.

Products manufactured and Biomet and its subsidiaries mainly include reconstructing and fixing devices, electric stimulators for growth of bones, supporting and plastic devices, devices for operation rooms, ordinary surgical tools, joint replicas, spinal implants, cement agents for bones, bone substitutes, implants for plastic operation of jaws on craniums, implants for reconstructing teeth and related equipment.

Biomet had investigated many locales in Romania, Turkey and China over the past year before selecting the Changzhou Hi-Tech District as its export-oriented production base for the Asia-Pacific region.

Auditor named for China Sky One

China Sky One Medical (Harbin, China), a manufacturer and distributor of pharmaceutical, medicinal and diagnostic products in that country, said it has appointed Sherb & Co. as its independent auditor.

Yanqing Liu, president/CEO of China Sky One, said, “We believe that Sherb & Co. will provide us with audit services of the highest quality and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

China Sky One is a Nevada-registered holding company with principal operations through its subsidiaries, Harbin Tian Di Ren Medical Science and Technology and Harbin First Bio-Engineering, which are engaged in the manufacturing of medicinal and diagnostic kit and pharmaceutical products.

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