The Clinical Need
When faced with cancer, often what we fear the most is not the disease itself, but the side effects and trauma of the treatments. Surgery can be invasive and radiation and chemotherapy can leave us desperately sick and weak. Other patients may have tumors that are benign, but their growth causes other effects such as pain, high blood pressure, or other symptoms. There is a desperate clinical need to precisely target and destroy tumors while avoiding the costly and debilitating consequences and side effects of conventional treatments.
What is Microwave Ablation (MWA)?
Microwave ablation is a minimally invasive procedure where physicians use image-guidance to insert needle-like applicators, embedded with miniature microwave antennas, directly into tumors to heat and kill them. Often this is the same frequency of energy emitted by your home's microwave oven. This process can often be accomplished as an outpatient procedure, but is restricted by a limited ability to precisely and consistently control the thermal treatment zone. This sometimes results in risk of disease recurrence or unintended damage to nearby anatomy.
Our mission is to create the technology that enables microwave ablation to go from treatment-of-last-resort to the gold standard of care. Physicians who perform MWA are highly skilled, but need the next generation of tools to enable this minimally invasive technique to reach its full potential in terms of benefiting patients, hospital systems, and insurance providers. Beyond cancer, MWA also has the potential to provide minimally invasive treatment for other medical conditions that currently leave patients with limited options such as highly invasive surgery or a lifetime of chronic medication.