Trimira's Zuluaga participates in panel about oral cancer screening devices

April 14, 2010
Presentation features Identafi 3000 Ultra multispectral detection device.

BOSTON--Trimira's Dr. Andrés F. Zuluaga was one of four panel members who participated in a three-hour presentation about new oral cancer screening technologies at the 2010 Yankee Dental Congress 35 trade show in Boston.

The presentation was titled "Oral Cancer Screening Devices: Shedding Light on the Sujbect."

Zuluaga PhD, MS, is vice president of research and development at Trimira's parent, Houston-based Remicalm, as well as a principal at IO Consultants.

Trimira developed Identafi 3000 ultra, a "multispectral" oral cancer detection device, in collaboration with the University of Texas and British Columbia Cancer Research Centre. It is available through dealers and distributors in the U.S. and Canada.

Trimira demonstrated Identafi 3000 ultra at the event.

Despite declines in alcohol and tobacco use, oral cancer is growing at double-digit rates. Dr. Zuluaga noted that the mortality rate for oral cancer is higher than that of many cancers such as cervical, thyroid, Hodgkin's lymphoma, testicular, laryngeal, or skin (malignant melanoma).

Early detection of oral cancer could improve the survival rate to 80-90% percent.

Participating with Dr. Zuluaga in the Jan. 28 panel presentation at the congress were:

* William Balanoff, DDS, MS, FICD, who received his dental degree from Northwestern Universit. He has a MS in craniofacial research.
* Michael Kahn, DDS, a professor and chair of the oral and maxillofacial pathology department at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and a diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology
* Lynn Solomon, DDS, MS, an associate professor in the department of oral pathology at Tufts School of Dental Medicine.

The panel discussion about the different oral cancer screening devices was moderated by oral pathologists. The panel presented updated data about oral and oropharyngeal cancer, including the disease's incidence, prevalence, etiologic factors, screening, diagnosis, and prevention.

The various types of adjunctive oral cancer screening devices were discussed, with emphasis on their operation and comparison. Objectives of the session included:

* Learning about current oral cancer incidence and prevalence
* Appreciating the early clinical signs and symptoms of oral cancer
* Understanding the role of traditional etiologic factors in oral cancer, as well as human papillomavirus
* Evaluating the different types of oral cancer adjunctive screening devices.

Dr. Zuluaga said the increase in oral cancer is largely due to the spread of HPV-16 and -18 via all forms of sexual contact. HPV-related oral cancer lesions occur mainly in the back of the throat, base of the tongue, and tonsillar pillars.

Hence there is a need for a device such as the Identafi 3000 ultra, which can detect oral cancer and pre-cancer that would be otherwise be invisible to the naked eye. Like most cancers, cancers of the lip and oral cavity are best treated when found early.

Adjunctive technology, such as Identafi 3000 ultra, should be used in conjunction with the American Dental Association's recommended conventional visual and tactile examination of the head, neck, and oral cavity.

The gold standard of ascertaining whether a patient has oral cancer continues to be the biopsy. Of course, it is not practical to do regular biopsies on all dental patients when actually only 10% of them have something that is of concern.

For more information, go to Trimira.

To read more oral cancer screening, go to oral cancer screening.

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