Cancer diagnosis remains prevalent year after year—even more so in individuals over 50. However, advancing technology has made it easier to not only treat cancer but to identify the disease from the start. CytoBay, Inc., a U.S.-based healthcare technology brand, is helping pathologists in the early detection of cancerous cells.
Cytology, the study of cells, is crucial in cancer diagnosis and treatment. However, the conventional diagnostic process produces frequent indeterminant and inaccurate reports, especially for low-grade tumors. CytoBay’s cutting-edge technology streamlines pathology evaluation through AI-driven automation, enabling pathologists to provide more accurate and timely diagnosis.
The company’s technology uses a combination of liquid immunocytochemistry (ICC) and artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and quantify cancer cells in liquid samples. Liquid ICC is a technique that uses antibodies to stain cancer cells in liquid samples. The AI-driven enumeration interface then uses computer algorithms to identify and quantify the stained cells. Compared to the traditional methods, this updated process is both faster and more accurate when it comes to pinpointing cancerous cells in the body.
According to CytoBay’s CEO, Olivia Chu, early-stage testing was used to evaluate bladder cancer cells. She explains, “Bladder cancer is usually one of the most expensive cancers to treat because it’s found and treated in later stages. Liquid immunocytochemistry looks at liquid samples in a new way that pathologists have not been able to before.”
Diagnosis is traditionally done using cystoscopy, a real-time imaging procedure done with a flexible camera called a cystoscope, or urine cytology, where pathologists evaluate a urine sample. Both methods have significant drawbacks, including invasiveness, cost, and inaccuracies.
In contrast, CytoBay’s approach improves urine cytology by visualizing tumor marker expression with immuno-staining. More accurate detection, paired with a user-friendly interface, enables pathology professionals to provide more efficient diagnoses, streamlining the time-intensive processes in pathology workflow and enhancing patient outcomes.
Early detection dramatically increases a person’s chance of survival. Research suggests that a patient’s survival rate is three times greater when pinpointed in an early stage. CytoBay’s technology enables the identification of even low-grade tumors, facilitating cancer detection in its nascent stages. The technology also holds promise in turning reactive cancer screening into a proactive healthcare measure by streamlining testing and reducing workloads. According to Chu, the company successfully patented its innovation in 2021.
CytoBay’s technology is already pioneering change in testing for breast cancer, lung cancer, and circulating cell tumors. In lung cancer diagnosis, LICC offers an accurate method to detect, characterize, monitor, and provide prognostic information for lung cancer patients. According to the American Cancer Society, there are over 238,000 new cases of lung cancer each year. It complements traditional tissue biopsies and imaging techniques, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of the disease and improved patient management.
With activation into the broader healthcare community planned for late 2023, Chu is already looking toward the future. Her co-founder and father, Dr. Wenjiang Chu, invented CytoBay’s immunocytochemistry methodology and remains actively involved in its ongoing development. Dr. Chu spent more than two decades in the pathology industry, leading innovation at national consumer medical testing companies.
“We see this technology turning a cancer diagnosis into a chronic condition instead of something that could be life-threatening. Catching it early means patients never have to get to the late stage of treatment,” Chu says.
CytoBay’s commitment to ongoing research and development is evident in its dedication to advancing pathology practices through innovative technology. The company plans to expand the application of AI-driven enumeration to various cancer types, making it more widely available to the public. According to Chu, the future addition of at-home testing kits also increases access to early cancer screening. Learn more about CytoBay’s breakthrough cancer screening technology at cytobay.com.