Cellvizio Endomicroscopy Technology for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment [Interview][Transcript]

sacha_loiseau_optical_biopsyGuest: Sacha Loiseau
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Sacha Loiseau started his career at the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) in Toulouse and at the Paris Observatory, then joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, as a research scientist. Sacha is a graduate of the École Polytechnique in Paris and has a Ph.D. in Astrophysics and Optical Instrumentation. Sacha is the CEO and co-founder of Mauna Kea Technologies and piloted the development of the Cellvizio endomicroscopy product line. Today, CellVizio has been used on well over 100,000 patients worldwide.

Segment overview: Sacha Loiseau, CEO and co-founder of Mauna Kea Technologies discusses the Cellvizio Endomicroscopy Technology and how it helps physicians better diagnose and treat some types of cancer.

Transcription
Health Professional Radio – Cellvizio Endomicroscopy Technology

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Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to the program, I’m your host Neal Howard. Thank you so much for joining us here today on Health Professional Radio. Our guest in studio today is Sacha Loiseau, he’s the CEO and founder of Mauna Kea Technologies which he started back in 2000 and he’s here today to talk with us about the Cellvizio product line and a product line that has been used in well over one hundred thousand patients to date. Welcome to the program Sacha.

Sacha Loiseau: Thank you very much.

N: Now you spearheaded the development of this Cellvizio product line. Talk about this product line and how it relates to the treatment and diagnosis of some cancers.

S: Yes, Cellvizio is a very cutting-edge technology which has now been used by physicians for well over 6 – 7 years which basically opens a new window on the human body. It provides physicians and surgeons with a direct visualization of tissues at the microscopic level. So by doing so, it enables them to really see if a tissue is normal or if it suffers from a deformation of some pathology. So it helps them get a much better assessment of what the patient suffers from, where the patient is in the progression possibly of a disease, and if they need to just undergo surveillance or if they need to be treated either during the same procedure or possibly at a later time. So it really brings an essential piece of information to physicians during their standard procedure.

N: Now is it more or less invasive or is it pretty much on par with the current standard?

S: Right, so Cellvizio is never more invasive than the current standard as you said, so typically Cellvizio is an ultra-miniaturized microscope which can be used during a standard endoscopic procedure for instance and is brought through the endoscope through the channel of the endoscope typically like a biopsy forceps and is going to help the physician get this vision or the tissue by simply touching the tissue. There is no removal of tissue happening, it is pure optical technology and so it’s going to provide on a display an optical section of the tissue and show the structure of the tissue at the cellular level in real time.

N: Now there are some recent endorsements of this product line by the ASGS. Could you talk a bit about the endorsement and how the word is getting out about this new technology?

S: Absolutely. We’ve been conducting clinical trials for many years and have received very strong endorsements lately thanks to a very positive clinical results which have been published in several of the best journals in gastroenterology. So these endorsements in the American Society of General Surgeons is about providing a better comprehensive assessments of a patient that suffers from reflux disease, from GERD and/or already from Barret’s Esophagus and typically these endorsements really points out the very positive improvement in sensitivity and specificity that have been proven over many years in these clinical trials for the physician to characterize the lower esophagus. Typically the gastroesophageal junction has to be assessed during these procedures to decide whether the patient needs maybe treatment for Barret’s Esophagus, needs to be taken to an anti-reflux surgery or simply can go home maybe with a different type of medication. So this is what Cellvizio is bringing to the surgeons and physicians who are seeing those patients who suffer for many years as you know from I guess for esophageal reflux disease and who do not find relief in medication.

N: This has been developed by Mauna Kea Technologies. You started this company back in 2000, what about support of this product line from Mauna Kea?

S: Sure. So Mauna Kea Technologies is a company that has as you said over now 15 years of existence, its presence in about 30 countries so we have our own organization that provides supports not only for physicians but also for of course distributors in other countries but in the US we have an organization that it’s going to provide some support in terms of bringing physicians possibly to expert centers where they can receive training, there is an online training available, there is a lot of different kinds of training that the physicians can choose from. Typically using Cellvizio is very easy for a surgeon or physician to get trained on technically it’s really a matter of days if not hours depending on how many procedures they can do in one given morning. And then of course there is training on using the information that is provided visually by the device and this also is a matter of certain number of hours spent reviewing images and understanding how to interpret these images which are really very easy to distinguish compared to possibly ultrasound images which take a long time to get used to.

N: Now you mentioned some online training, is there online training for this specific product line separate from your website at maunakeatech.com?

S: Absolutely, there is a specific educational website which is entirely free where anybody can register and start training, it’s called cellvizio.net and it provides an entire curriculum which has been designed by experts, by physicians of course and enables any physician to start training on certain pathologies for certain organs and so there’s already of different training which are available. Now even on top of these, there is now the formation of a society of endomicroscopy which is going to provide also independent training and endorsement and so on for physicians and surgeons who are going to become users of the technology.

N: Our guest in studio today has been Sacha Loiseau, President and CEO of Mauna Kea and he’s been here talking with us about the Cellvizio product line. It’s been great having you in studio today with us Sacha.

S: Thank you Neal, thank you so much.

N: Thank you. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm and you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.