Technology

The NovaScan MarginScan™ Skin Device

Non melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) are by far the most common cancers in the world. There are more cases of NMSC than all other cancers combined. More than 20 percent of Americans will develop NMSC before reaching 70. Prevalence is even higher in other countries; more than half of all Australians will develop NMSC.

However, current surgeries for skin cancer leave much to be desired.

Most surgeries are simple excisions, where the dermatologist surgeon simply cuts out the cancer. In these cases, the surgeon has no way to detect cancer margin when he or she excises the tumor, As a result, surgeons compensate by making large excisions of healthy tissue around the suspected cancer. The results can be disfiguring. Moreover, since margin isn’t confirmed during the procedures, the skin cancers often recur.

More exacting surgeries, called Mohs surgery, are an alternative. During a Mohs procedure, specialty trained dermatologist surgeons try to excise only the cancer itself, leaving healthy tissue in place. These excisions (called stages) are then frozen and assessed histologically in an onsite lab, a process that can take forty minutes or more. If cancer is in the margin the process is repeated. This continues, time and time again, until clean margins are obtained. There is no way for the surgeon to know if this process will take one stage, two, three or more. It isn’t possible.

Mohs procedures are the gold standard, but they are lengthy, expensive, and unpredictable. Patients prefer not to spend what can easily become the better part of a day in a surgical chair, with an open wound.

With MarginScan™ Skin, dermatologists excise tissue in a healthy tissue sparing way as in a Mohs procedure, but confirm cancer-free margins via an electrical assessment of the Cole Frequency. No lab is required and the process is far faster, simpler, and more predictable than Mohs. Mohs-like results are obtained without intraoperative histological assessment. This makes simple excisions more healthy tissue sparing, leading to better cosmesis and lower recurrence.

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The MarginScan Skin device is not cleared for sale in the United States.