Study demonstrates proof of concept for Zilico device in detection of oral cancer

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Zilico, a spin-out company from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield University set up by Medipex in 2006, has announced results from a study looking at the use of Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) in the detection and diagnosis of oral cancer and dysplasia.

The University of Sheffield’s Professor of Oral Medicine, Martin Thornhill, presented the results of the study to the most influential group of oral medicine experts in America.

Professor Thornhill’s presentation, Use of Impedance Spectroscopy to Detect Potentially Malignant Oral Lesions, was delivered at the 67th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM) in San Antonio, Texas.

The study was the result of a collaboration between the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Zilico Ltd.

Zilico’s lead product ZedScan I, is used for detecting dysplasia and cancer of the cervix. Dysplasia and cancer of the cervix has some similarities to that of the mouth.

EIS can be used to measure the resistivity of cells and so can detect changes as cells progress from normal to precancerous and then to cancerous.

The results of the preliminary study were very positive, demonstrating the potential of EIS, with changes identified to increase the sensitivity and specificity of the device along with modifications that will improve its ease of use in the mouth.

The next stage will be to incorporate these modifications in a new device specifically designed for oral use, followed by a larger clinical trial directly comparing EIS with biopsy for the diagnosis of potentially malignant oral lesions.

The study was very well received by the attendees, with significant interest shown in the science behind the device, as well as the availability of the device.

Professor Thornhill said: “The positive reaction to the use and potential of EIS in detecting oral cancer following the presentation and results of the study was very encouraging.

“There was substantial interest in the use of EIS, as well as a number of people enquiring as to whether they could obtain the device now.”

The presentation will also be published in the Oral Surgery, Oral Pathology, Oral medicine and Oral Radiology journal later in the year.

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