Integral Geometry Science Inc, a venture firm spun off from Kobe University, has developed a new breast cancer screening method that does not cause pain or exposure to radiation.
The new method is called Microwave Mammography. Microwaves pass through fat and mammary glands, which constitute almost the entire breasts and, therefore, are suited for breast cancer screening.
However, it has been difficult to calculate and visualize the location of a cancer tumor based on waves reflected from the tumor, making it impossible to commercialize such methods.
Kenjiro Kimura, professor at the Center for Mathematical and Data Sciences, Kobe University, and CSO (chief strategy officer) of Integral Geometry Science, broke the theoretical wall of breast cancer screening devices using microwaves.
A research group including Kimura succeeded in the visualization of cancer tumors by creating an equation for analyzing waves reflected from objects and solving it. The group obtained a patent for it in Japan, Europe and China (nine countries in total) as "Solution to Inverse Scattering Problem and Imaging."
This technology can be applied not only to medical images (for breast cancer screening, etc) but also to resource exploration, measurement of aging infrastructures, ruins exploration, etc, according to the research group.
Integral Geometry Science conducted clinical research with about 300 actual breast cancer patients and about 50 healthy people by using the Microwave Mammography.
"With the Microwave Mammography, we have never missed a breast cancer patient," Kimura said.
After getting ready for volume production of the device, Integral Geometry Science plans to start a clinical trial in fiscal 2020 and apply for approval of the device as a medical device. After the approval, it expects to release the device in the fall of 2021 or later.
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