Many might not realize the world’s smallest microscope was inspired by the largest observatory in the world. Before founding Mauna Kea Technologies, I spent time working as an astrophysicist for NASA on the original Mauna Kea… a dormant volcano in Hawaii. During my time there, I worked with incredibly powerful telescopes.
While working atop Mauna Kea, and thanks to many inspiring interactions with physicians, an idea came to me: What if we could take the power of those telescopes and use them to see inside patients at a cellular level? Many of the same principles apply from stars to cells… the lenses are simply installed differently. I returned to France in late 1999 to put this idea in motion.
Fast forward to 2014 and we are now working tirelessly to bring Cellvizio Optical Biopsy to those who may benefit from our technology: Patients and doctors around the world. We made great progress this year. Findings from a prospective multi-center study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Endoscopy, showed that optical biopsy procedures performed with Cellvizio successfully confirmed the nature of previously indeterminate benign pancreatic cysts in 100% of patients where a superficial vascular network was observed.
What does this mean? It means that Cellvizio has the potential to dramatically reduce the number of unnecessary surgeries performed on patients with benign pancreatic lesions. This is very important because surgeries on patients with pancreatic cysts are complex and can lead to severe longterm consequences. We are excited about what these clinical findings could mean for patients faced with a pancreatic cyst.
There were other significant milestones in 2014: We were thrilled to share that surgeons at Coliseum Northside Hospital in Macon, Georgia successfully completed over 100 endomicroscopic procedures in patients with Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) since they started using Cellvizio in September 2014. And physicians at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport confirmed that using Cellvizio to spot potentially cancerous lung nodules by threading Cellvizio through a bronchoscope could have major positive implications for patients.
We anticipate another exciting year in 2015 as we continue to investigate future applications for Cellvizio. We recently announced new clinical trials in collaboration with Siemens Healthcare that will take place at Hopital Européen Georges Pompidou and Nouvel Hopital Civil de Strasbourg in France to evaluate the use of Cellvizio in interventional radiology. Stay tuned to this blog for updates.
We wish you and your family a happy and healthy new year!