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This Israel startup has developed a minimally invasive, cost effective artificial intelligence technology that helps doctors treat lung cancer at its earliest stages.

By United with Israel Staff

Israeli start-up Body Vision has FDA approval for its early lung detection tool, LUNGVISION. The minimally invasive, cost effective bronchoscope uses artificial intelligence to reach suspicious nodules in the lungs and diagnose malignancies, which facilitates treatment and improves the chances of survival.

“With the technology generally employed in the field, if someone has a mass in a lung, we can perform a biopsy with a bronchoscopy, but there is no guarantee to get to the right point, especially when lesions are very small,” explained Prof. Mordechai Kramer, the head of Israel’s Institute of Pulmonary and Allergy Medicine at the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson and Hasharon campuses, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Other procedures available have a high risk of complications. This new device helps us get a tridimensional model of the nodule, meaning a precise target for the biopsy, through the data collected by a CT and other noninvasive examinations,” he added, emphasizing the importance of early diagnoses.

According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, accounting for 2.1 million new cases and 1.8 million deaths in 2018. More than half of people with lung cancer die within one year of being diagnosed.

It is the leading killer among all cancers in both men and women in the U.S. Five-year survival rate of the illness (18.6 percent) is lower than many other leading cancer sites, such as colorectal (64.5 percent), breast (89.6 percent) and prostate (98.2 percent).

While the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 56 percent for cases detected when the disease is still localized (within the lungs), only 16 percent of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage.

LUNGVISION provides real-time assessment of lesions and is less expensive and more accurate than others presently in use. In addition, it adapts to a wide range of existing medical machinery and instruments.

After successful clinical studies starting in 2015, Israeli hospitals began to use the innovative diagnostic tool. Presently, 14 hospitals in the United States are employing the method.

“With the LUNGVISION™ Platform’s augmented fluoroscopy, it gives you the ability to see the all pathways that you need in real time, adjusting for patient breathing. You are able to see where you need to be. You can also see fluoroscopically invisible lesions… it’s unbelievable,” said Dr. D. Kyle Hogarth, FCCP of the University of Chicago.

The company hopes LUNGVISION™ “will be used in the future to introduce surgical markers for VATS [Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery] or radio-surgery and, later, for minimally invasive treatment tools such as radiofrequency or microwave ablation.”