Advances in use of probe-based Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy (pCLE) could mean that GIs refer fewer specimens to clinical pathology laboratories
Gastroenterologists are beginning to use what is being called the “world’s smallest microscope” to view tissue in situ and diagnose disease. It is a technology innovation that will have important ramifications for the anatomic pathology profession because this new system is designed to allow physicians to microscopically examine a patient’s GI tissue at the cellular level in its natural environment.
The product is entering clinical use in the United States. It is called Cellvizio and is manufactured by Mauna Kea Technologies (MKEA), a French company with offices in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Cellvizio is a miniature microscope that, once inserted into the GI tract, enables the physician to select cells for microscopic examination in order to make a more immediate decision regarding a diagnosis, as well as treatment.
Image is 142,603 by 105,000 pixels in size (or 41.8GB) and was scanned at a 1μm pixel resolution
Is it the largest pathology image ever produced? In an article, the journal BioOptics World reports that a breast tissue image may in fact be the largest digital pathology image ever produced. The image was produced by the TISSUEscope 4000 from Biomedical Photometrics Inc. (BPI) of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
The image is available online at http://www.confocal.com/ABOUT/Human_Breast-H&E.html. The announcement of the “largest pathology image ever produced” is a clever way for BPI to call attention to it scanning system. The company describes its product as a high-throughput panoramic scanning system for tissue slides and microarrays that images an area more than 100 times that of an ordinary microscope in a single scan.
How much longer will anatomic pathologists spend the majority of their time in a quiet office, viewing glass slides through a microscope? Will radiologists and pathologists soon collaborate on diagnosing the patient and jointly releasing an integrated patient report to the referring physician?
Should you think these scenarios are several years into the future, you may be surprised to learn that first-mover pathology groups and radiology groups are in the earliest stages of fully-digital (non-glass) pathology and collaborative diagnosis/patient reporting. These pathologists and radiologists will tell you that this is an exciting time and they are advancing patient care because of these innovations.
At University of Kansas, an extraordinary collaboration was launched last summer involving Ossama W. Tawfik, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology and his colleague; Mark L. Redick, M.D., Assistant Professor of Radiology, University of Kansas. Tawfik and Redick began meeting regularly to jointly review selected breast cancer cases. “It was quickly obvious to us both that, by reviewing each other’s primary clinical data together, there were immediate benefits to the referring physician and the patient,” noted Tawfik. “We’ve learned two things from this collaboration. First, there have been few changes in the diagnostic aspect of the cases we review. Second, on the treatment side, our pathology/radiology integration is driving significant changes in how the patient receives treatment and what therapies are recommended.”
Tawfik and Redick are speaking about their in vivo/in vitro collaboration at the upcoming Molecular Summit on the Integration of In Vivo and In Vitro Diagnostics in Philadelphia on February 10-11, 2009. Location is the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
At Molecular Summit 2009, the future of the glass slide versus an all-digital pathology service will be discussed by CEOs from industry-leading firms such as Aperio Technologies, Inc., BioImagene, Inc., and DMetrix, Inc.. One sure sign that pathologists are adopting slide scanning and digital pathology systems is the accelerating rate of sales of digital systems reported by these three companies during the past 24 months.
Pathologists and radiologists wanting to stay at the top of their game and profit from the opportunities unfolding in personalized medicine and vivo/in vitro integration should register to attend Molecular Summit 2009. This year’s top-flight event has a distinguished faculty of 27 international experts and covers the spectrum of advanced molecular diagnostics, imaging, and informatics. Unique case studies provide attendees with everything they need to know to advance their molecular skills and tap new sources of patient referrals and income.
Register today and guarantee your place at this important event for pathology and radiology! The full agenda and speaker line-up for Molecular Summit 2009 on February 10-11 can be viewed here (or paste this URL into your browser: http://www.molecular-summit.com/program.htm )
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