SamanTree Medical: Real-Time Medical Imaging for Accurate Margin Assessment
Bastien Rachet, Co-Founder and CEO and Etienne Shaffer, Co-Founder and CTO
Every cancer procedure is a trade-off between complete resection and healthy tissue preservation. Traditionally, surgeons were provided with a pre-surgery X-ray image to orient them with the site of the tumor in the patient. Unfortunately, these methods of medical imaging lack the precision needed in surgeries and hugely influence success rates. During surgeries, the edge or border of the tissue removed called the margin is described as negative or clean if no malignant cells are observed at the surface of the resected tumor. Lack of efficient margin assessment solutions in the operating room can lead to re-operation procedures, including additional costs, patient inconvenience, or higher doses of radiotherapy treatment.
The unmet demand in this direction has fueled SamanTree Medical to design a complete imaging solution with AI integrated software for remote image view to guide surgical margin assessment. Founded in 2014, the company is focused on improving cancer care with their breakthrough approach to fresh tissue imaging and analysis, improving clinical outcomes for patients, and optimizing procedural efficiencies for physicians while reducing costs to payers.
SamanTree Medical’s solution could significantly improve patient care and decrease hospital costs associated to re-operations
“SamanTree Medical’s solution could significantly improve patient care and decrease hospital costs associated to re-operations,” says Professor Michael P. Lux, Head of Gynaecology, St. Louise Hospital, Germany.
SamanTree Medical’s Histolog® Scanner gives the real-time image of a fresh specimen at a morphological level with microscopic resolution. After resection, the full excision is dipped in a contrast agent and placed on a disposable dish over the imaging window. The fresh excision is ready for imaging within a minute without the need for fixing, embedding, or glass mounting. The surgeon can visualize the digital image of the excision surface on the screen while keeping the entire excision intact for final assessment later, thereby preserving the following workflow in pathology. This allows the surgeon to make informed decisions while performing the surgery, wherein the procedures can be simplified and performed inside the operation room without having a microscopy expert or specialized technician.
High-resolution imaging coupled with machine learning allows clinicians to see details that are otherwise not visible on standard medical imaging. We are the first to make it happen at the point of care, which means a better-informed decision for a better patient outcome. Our clinical data show that we are about to set a new standard
“Our imaging solution is time- and cost-efficient, with results immediately available at the point of care. High-resolution imaging coupled with machine learning allows clinicians to see details that are otherwise not visible on standard medical imaging. We are the first to make it happen at the point of care, which means a better informed decision for a better patient outcome. Our clinical data show that we are about to set a new standard.” explains Bastien Rachet, Co-founder and CEO of SamanTree Medical.
The company’s specialized solutions for breast cancer care best exemplifies their success stories. If detected early, through the screening program, the patient can undergo breast-conserving surgery by concentrating on the tumor itself without removing the entire breast (mastectomy). Using the high-resolution medical imaging device improves the outcome of the surgery, reducing the re-operation rates, at the same time, conserving more of the healthy tissue in patients. In addition to influencing the aesthetic outcome as well as being invasive for the patient, removal of healthy tissue in the process can lead to further complications and recovery rates.
“The Histolog Scanner could potentially improve intraoperative assessment of the surgical specimen, optimizing the chances of removing completely the tumor and DCIS at primary surgery. Decreasing re-operation rate is key for certified breast center in Germany, which monitor closely their re-operation rate because an audit is performed each year,” says Professor Golatta from Heidelberg University Hospital.
With 20 issued patents and around the same number of pending patents, SamanTree Medical has planned out a four-pillar expansion model with a target for 2024. The expansion model involves revenue generation to support the commercialization processes in Europe as well as regulatory clearance and track record of use to establish market opportunities in the US. The company keeps optimizing the manufacturing processes for cost reduction while continuing to explore additional therapeutic areas.
With the technology in hand, they hope to expand their imaging solutions to all cancer surgeries, starting with the prostate, where proper margin assessment is extremely important for preserving the nerves not infected with the tumor. “Our product has application across the whole patient journey for cancer care- from pre-surgical diagnoses to post-surgical specimen analysis, the Histolog Scanner enhances the analysis accuracy at the point of care and enables improvement of procedural efficiency” concludes Rachet.
Management Bastien Rachet, Co-Founder and CEO and Etienne Shaffer, Co-Founder and CTO
Description SamanTree Medical was founded in 2014 as a med-tech company proposing a breakthrough innovation for checking complete tumor removal during surgery: the Histolog® Scanner. This novel imaging modality is a direct support during cancer surgery to achieve the common goal of improving the patient’s quality of life by decreasing the rates of re-operation. The team is fully dedicated to bringing the best standard in the operating room, enabling margin assessment, in real-time, at the histological detail
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