Narrow Band Imaging – improving bladder cancer diagnosis

Paige Rollins
Friday, April 21, 2017

Narrow Band Imaging (NBI) is an optical image enhancement technology that is being used for identifying cancer in bladder mucosa.  NBI takes white light from the LED bulb and only allows green and blue lightwaves to be omitted.  This enhances the vasculature in the mucosa, such as blood vessels and other structures, allowing for better visualization of possibly cancerous lesions.  The first launch of this process was in 2005, but of course there have been constant improvements made to the product since then.

Dan Bakis graduated with a degree in Exercise Physiology, minoring in Nutrition from the UMass Lowell.  He started working in orthopedic medical device sales fresh out of college, and from there he moved onto gastrointestinal and pulmonary medical device sales.  In February of 2017, he started working with urology and gynecology medical device sales through a company called Olympus.

Bakis sells the Narrow Band Imaging technology through Olympus.  “This product is a source and processor built into one device.  The scope plugs into this for urology and gynecology procedures in the office, such as cystoscopies,”  Bakis explained.  “This process is being used worldwide.”

It’s tough to say just how many hospitals are using this technology, but Bakis predicted it was about 50%.  The other 50% still use an ink injection method.  “A toxic solution has to sit in the patient for an hour before you can do the procedure.  It makes them feel like they have to urinate, so they have to hold that feeling for an hour.  With NBI, just press a button on the processor and it turns on and off.”  He says it’s a much more comfortable experience for the patients.

Bakis said there was a study done with NBI and non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer where 17% more cancer was found, and 24% more tumors were found using this NBI instead of an alternate method.

This technology is improving the overall cycle of bladder cancer treatment for both patient and doctor.  Although NBI only works within the bladder mucosa, this is a step in the right direction for cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *