The need for improved soft tissue surgical technology in early stage cancers is large and growing, particularly with the advent of more effective screening techniques. In Navigation Science’s’ lead indication, lung cancer, the demonstrated success of chest CT screening in high risk populations in lowering cancer deaths* is creating new opportunities for technology to improve lung surgery.
Removal of small tumors deep inside the lung with appropriate surgical margins, however, remains a significant challenge. Insufficient distance between the tumor and the resection margin has been shown over time to be associated with cancer recurrence and death. Wedge resection, which removes a small section of lung around the tumor, preserves lung function, but carries increased recurrence/survival risk. Lobectomy lowers local recurrence risk at the expense of diminished lung function.
Similarly, in breast cancer, lack of precision in localizing tumors and excision with appropriate surgical margins, is a significant contributor to repeat surgeries in approximately 25 percent of women who undergo lumpectomies or simple mastectomies.**
There are more than 450,000 surgeries per year in the US, for lung, breast, liver, thyroid and brain, where Navigation’s technology may benefit. The initial addressable market is the over 87,000 US patients diagnosed with early stage lung cancers. Growing recognition of the value of CT X-ray screening and favorable CMS reimbursement coverage for high risk patients are expected to drive up the number of early stage lung cancer diagnoses.
There are significant follow on opportunities in breast cancer, where an estimated 250,000 US lumpectomies are addressable with the technology, as well as with liver, thyroid and brain tumors.