Cancer Diagnostic Company CIRECA Joins Southbridge Tech Incubator

Cancer Diagnostic Company CIRECA Joins Southbridge Tech Incubator

Reagent-Free Optical Diagnostic Imaging Methods

CIRECA is an early stage diagnostic company developing reagent-free optical diagnostic imaging methods. The company’s analytical tools and algorithms diagnose tissue- and cell-based samples using hyperspectral Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR)-based Imaging. This technique delivers a universal measure of biochemical composition of tissue and cells that has been demonstrated to have prognostic and predictive diagnostic capability. The company is currently developing hardware and software tools that will advance our understanding of cancer and patient care.

A Breakthrough for Pathology and Oncology

It has been standard practice in pathology and oncology to make diagnostic, prognostic, and even predictive decisions effecting patient outcomes by interpreting images generated by chemically staining tissue and cell samples (above left) and by reviewing each sample by eye. This is a century old practice. Of course, pathologists are exceptional at image analysis and well trained to recognize predominant patterns in sample images. Where they are less effective is micro-scale intra- and inter-sample analysis. For example, a pathologist may need to see 100 cells to feel confident in their diagnosis. A comparable data set for CIRECA has 4 to 5 times higher data density or, conversely, CIRECA performs equally well on a microregion of 20-25 cells. 30,000 data voxels (a unit measurement approximating 125 cubic microns) are generated in 1 square mm of a typical slide. Each voxel measurement is an independent data point that can be used to train a predictive model. In a study of drug uptake, for example, relative measures of variance in a binary analysis can objectively determine if region A is like B. Aggregated datasets yield high resolution label images registerable to digital pathology images scanned post-staining. Patterns seen by pathologists in images familiar to them can be compared to CIRECA’s images through overlay (above, right). These variances within a sample or between samples are used to determine which oncology treatments may be most effective on the individual tumor.

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