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Australia receives first two revolutionary skin cancer diagnostic machines from VivoSight

31 January 2018

Australia receives first two revolutionary skin cancer diagnostic machines from VivoSight

Having existed in Europe for some time, the latest technology for early identification and assisted treatment of skin cancer has been installed at two Sydney clinics.

When a skin cancer is suspected, a biopsy is often necessary to confirm the diagnosis. A biopsy is also often performed in order to accurately establish the depth of certain skin cancers prior to treatment. North West Sydney Dermatology & Laser Clinic in Rouse Hill aims to make this a thing of the past through its new ‘VivoSight Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanner’. This is an imaging device that is able to look beneath the skin's surface in high resolution.

“We are very excited to be the first clinic able to offer the Australian public this technology. It means a painless, on-the-spot diagnosis and it will open doors to non-invasive treatments as well.” said Dr Robert Stephens FACD, the principal dermatologist at North West Sydney Dermatology & Laser Clinic. “This device has more potential than just as a diagnostic tool. We can also use OCT to determine if surgery is needed or not. If surgery is necessary, we can map the invisible parts of a tumour prior to excision.”

The VivoSight OCT scanner is manufactured by the British company Michelson Diagnostics. It is already being used in the USA and Europe and has received TGA regulatory approval for clinical sales in Australia. Our country has a strong appetite for innovation in skin cancer treatment, given that two in three Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70, and more than 750,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers in Australia each year.

Jon Holmes, CEO of Michelson Diagnostics commented “We have established VivoSight as the OCT imaging technology of choice amongst German Dermatologists, where we have systems placed in both large hospitals and private clinics. Using the knowledge we have gained from building our business in Germany, we are pleased to announce the successful launch of the VivoSight OCT scanner in Australia.”

Dr Stephens continues “The other benefit of the VivoSight OCT scanner is that it provides us with a means of verifying complete removal of a skin cancer without having to cut it out and send it off to pathology.  Using OCT technology, the game now changes. We can now verify complete removal of a skin cancer following a non-surgical treatment. This means that in certain cases, we can make a diagnosis of skin cancer, remove the skin cancer and then verify its complete removal without the patient ever seeing a needle or a scalpel.”

Effective methods of removing skin cancer without surgery already exist. Some types of skin cancer can be removed with creams (topical chemotherapy). The problem with these treatments is there has been no test that could validate complete removal.

Aside from routine clinical use, the only other VivoSight scanner in Australia has just been purchased by the Melanoma Institute Australia. “We aim to use OCT to help understand the science of skin cancer better and monitor the effectiveness of the treatment”, said Associate Professor Pascale Guitera - FACD PhD, a dermatology surgeon and skin imaging expert at the centre, based in Sydney. The MIA has used an earlier version of VivoSight for research purposes, which resulted in 3 publications, but now with the medical device approval the new VivoSight is available to benefit patients directly, in a clinical setting.


Below is a link of TV news coverage in New York​, when an earlier version of the technology was initially launched in the USA at the world famous Mount Sinai Hospital -