A Medical Device Daily

Perceptronix Medical (Vancouver, British Columbia) reported its participation in a research project to detect early oral cancer lesions through a new initiative inside the BC Oral Cancer Prevention Program.

The program is bringing together a network of dentists, researchers and technology companies to develop early screening programs for oral cancer. Participation in this program is a result of a collaborative research agreement signed between Perceptronix and researchers with the BC Cancer Agency (Vancouver).

"The problem with oral cancer," says Miriam Rosin, MD, director of the BC Cancer Agency's Oral Cancer Prevention Program and lead investigator in the study, "is that there are often no symptoms in the early stages. And because it is a challenge to identify during the early stages, it is typically not diagnosed until the cancer has advanced and it is less responsive to treatment."

The National Cancer Institute of Canada estimates there were 3,000 new oral cancer cases and 1,100 deaths from the disease in 2006.

Patients volunteering for the screening program will be checked for early cancer using the VELscope fluorescence device developed by LED Dental (Vancouver). The VELscope will aid in identifying areas that require further investigation. The next step involves the ClearCyte quantitative cytology system developed by Perceptronix.

The ClearCyte system is designed to detect suspicious changes to DNA using non-invasive oral brushing samples taken by dentists during a routine check-up; these DNA changes could indicate a cancer risk. If there is a concern, patients will be referred quickly for further follow-up and treatment, whether cancer-related or not.

This research has been funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the National Institutes of Health. Research devices are provided by Perceptronix Medical and LED Dental.

In other agreements news: Premier Purchasing Partners (Charlotte, North Carolina) reported that a new supplier has been added to the reusable textiles and textile services. Encompass Group (McDonough, Georgia) joins Medline Industries (Mundelein, Illinois); Phoenix Textile (St. Louis); and Standard Textile (Cincinnati) that were previously reported.

These 36-month agreements, which became effective Dec. 1, offer improved pricing to acute-care and continuum-of-care members of the Premier alliance. Subcategories include apparel, dry linens, flatwork, gowns, and uniforms and scrubs.