CerCa Press Release

The CERCA project is a proposal for the eradication of cervical cancer, it is focused on the detection and treatment of dysplasia and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), by utilizing technological innovations based on photodynamic therapy (PDT). It is a local and minimally invasive technique  which combines the action of a photosensitizer (a compound or pro-drug which is absorbed by pre-cancerous and cancerous cells), light and oxygen free radicals to induce cell death. The destruction of pre-cancerous lesions occurs primarily by direct cytotoxic effects (among other mechanisms).

PDT is a clinically proven successful treatment in the management of benign and malignant neoplastic diseases. The medical potential of photodynamic therapy has been recognized for over 20 years although the use of photosensitizers in oncology was approved until the late 90s.

The CERCA Device (Cerca 150 System™) is a diagnostic-therapeutic tool with a focus on “see and treat” strategy, as direct visualization of the injury and its treatment can be carried out during the same visit in an easy and fast process, at low cost, and free of side effects characteristic of conventional therapy. Apart from reducing the number of medical visits, this device limits the loss of patients due to lack of follow-up after the diagnosis has been made (an aspect that is a major obstacle in the treatment of patients, specifically in developing countries).

The detection and timely and effective therapy of cervical dysplasia eliminates the possibility of progression of lesions with the consequent eradication of cervical cancer.

This project will offer an invaluable social impact that will facilitate early and efficient detection as well as timely treatment, and visual assessment of treatment response. CERCA can replace old technologies and significantly improve health services for the population.

Mayor advantages over conventional treatments:

  • Two methods for detection: auto-fluorescence and induced fluorescence (enhanced) after application of PS.

  • Reduced time between diagnosis and treatment: pre-cancerous lesions can be treated as soon as they are diagnosed.

  • Simple and rapid ambulatory procedure: procedure can be completed in minutes and does not require hospitalization; it does not involve surgery.

  • Real time evaluation of photodynamic treatment during application: Due to the correlation between the depth of necrosis and the in-vivo PS photodegradation during PDT absence of fluorescence will be observed when the lesions have been eliminated.

  • Limited damage of neighbouring tissue: The targeted destruction of neoplastic cells spares healthy tissue, which shows only an inflammatory reaction treatable with conventional analgesics.

  • Lack of systemic reaction or side effects: effects are limited to the zone treated and are transitory (local pain and inflammation).

  • Treatment can be repeated without compromising its efficacy.

  • Adverse effects of chemotherapy or radiation are absent.

  • Minimal fibrosis due to the preservation of connective tissue leads to retention of functional anatomy and mechanical integrity (sparing fertility issues characteristics of surgical interventions).

  • Superior aesthetic results compared with those obtained by conventional techniques such as surgery and cryotherapy.

  • Considerable cost alleviation: many patients simply cannot afford other treatment alternatives, CERCA products have been designed to be a highly effective and cost-competitive alternative for developing countries.

  • Does not compromise future treatment options for patients with residual or recurrent disease.


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