Entrepreneur develops new system for detecting oral cancer

By - Bad Breath Expert

SUMMARY: Patent lawyer Matthew H.J. Kim has recently developed OncAlert, a non-invasive mode of detecting oral cancer in the absence of presenting symptoms.

Posted: March 27, 2015

A new mode of detecting oral cancer has recently been developed, reported dental industry news publication Dr. Bicuspid. The OncAlert oral cancer detection system is the brainchild of Matthew H.J. Kim, founder and CEO of Vigilant Biosciences. Kim said the invention was prompted by his parents' battles with oral cancer.

According to the World Health Organization, the annual rate of new cases for head and neck cancers is 400,000 to 600,000 worldwide. The global mortality rate for these types of cancers is between 223,000 and 300,000 deaths per year. Early detection of oral cancer is a difficult endeavor, as physical symptoms often manifest after onset of the disease. Diagnosis in later stages is the reason behind a historically-large number of deaths. This data has further driven Kim's mission to design a mode of screening for oral cancer in the absence of obvious indicators. 

A rapid point-of-care risk assessment test and a total protein lab test comprise the OncAlert system, which uses a patented oral rinse to scope out the protein markers indicative of oral cancer risk. The test can detect these protein markers long before any visible oral cancer symptoms are present. Intended for use by dentists and hygienists, the diagnostic is designed to be non-invasive, according to a public statement by Dr. John Comisi, Vigilant's chief dental officer.

Vigilant has allocated $7.8 million in funds toward getting the system on the market. The company plans to submit the OncAlert system in late 2015 for approval by the Federal Drug Administration. The product is slated for release in South Korea in late 2015 or early 2016. Pending CE Mark approval, European markets should see the device in the second quarter of 2015. 

Kim noted that the OncAlert will not trump biopsy as the standard of care. Rather, the system is intended as an additional tool in the fight against oral cancer. 

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