LuViva scanner could provide alternative to smear test

A revolutionary digital scanner that is less painful and more effective than traditional smear tests shows early promise.

LuViva is a diagnostic device that scans the cervix with light and uses spectroscopy to measure how light interacts with the cervical tissue through a process called biophotonics.

It is able to diagnose cancer even when HPV tests and Pap smears have returned normal results. The results are available within just one minute.

Spectroscopy identifies chemical and structural indicators of pre-cancer that may be below the surface of the cervix or misdiagnosed as benign – and no tissue needs to be taken.

Results of a study were revealed at the Eurasian Cancer Screening Conference held in Minsk, Belarus, showing data comparable to other research previously conducted in the US and Europe.

The sensitivity of LuViva was shown to be 100% (no false negatives) and 45% of women with a negative LuViva result could have avoided additional testing, including biopsy. The confidence that a woman with a negative LuViva result was free of cervical cancer was 100%, which is consistent with previous studies.

Speaking at the conference, Dr Zoltan Hernadi of the University of Debrecen, Hungary, said: “We were impressed by cases in which both the Pap and HPV tests were negative but LuViva was positive and the patient was later found by her biopsy result to be developing cervical cancer.

“This clearly demonstrates the value of LuViva for the early detection of cervical cancer.”

The device, produced by Guided Therapeutics, is not yet approved in the US with approval about 18 months away. It is distributed in the UK by Eurosurgical and is currently used as a follow-up to a positive Pap smear test result.

Dr Gene Cartwright, CEO, Guided Therapeutics, said: “We’re targeting big accounts, government accounts like the Ministry of Health in Turkey and others like that.

“We believe we have a bright future… We’re trying to introduce a new medical technology to the developing world.”

LuViva is already on the market in Indonesia, Turkey, Nigeria, Kenya, and Bulgaria, with plans in train to begin distribution in China, India, Russia, Poland, and Hungary.

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