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Sheffield Spin-out, Zilico’s, multi-centre study published in BJOG

29 Jan 2013

Fusion IP, the University of Sheffield’s commercialisation partner, announced today that Zilico, one of its University of Sheffield portfolio companies, has completed a clinical study into the accuracy of electrical impedance spectroscopy (“EIS”) for detecting high grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). The work has been published in the latest issue of BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

Professor John Tidy, Consultant Gynaecological Oncologist at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital Sheffield and founder of Zilico led the Sheffield arm of the trial, with other centres being led by Professor Henry Kitchener (St Mary’s Hospital Manchester) and Professor Walter Prendiville (Tallaght Hospital Dublin).

The Zilico technology differentiates between normal, pre-cancerous and cancerous tissue cells by measuring their differences in electrical resistance.

The latest study, which investigated 429 women with abnormal cytology, was conducted in two phases. In phase 1, the researchers compared results of the hand-held EIS device to the current practices of colposcopic impressions and histopathology; and in phase 2, the clinicians used the EIS device to indicate sites for biopsy.

Prof. Tidy said: “This trial demonstrates the considerable potential for EIS to improve colposcopic performance and builds on our previously published clinical studies. The data shows that EIS improves not only the identification of women with high grade CIN (increased positive predictive value) but also the identification of women who do not have high-grade disease by increasing specificity.

This enhanced performance can be delivered while reducing the number of biopsies hence reducing morbidity and costs. EIS can also improve the utility of the 'see and treat' option. The increased specificity results in better identification of women who have high grade CIN and reduces over treatment.

This allows better use of resources but more importantly reduces the number of women who would needlessly undergo LLETZ (large loop excision of the transformation zone) and suffer the complications of the procedure. The study was pragmatic in design and was part of normal colposcopy practice. The data on improved performance, I believe, will be applicable to every day colposcopy practice.”

Last year, Prof. Tidy was the recipient of the Best Scientific Paper Award for his oral abstract presentation, “Improved Colposcopic Performance using Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (APX100) as an Adjunct” at the ASCCP Biennial Scientific Meeting 2012 in San Francisco.

More information about Fusion IP and the University’s other spinout companies can be found at www.fusionip.co.uk

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