Local invention to improve soft tissue biopsies approved for use in Europe

Dr. John Fisher, M.D., an interventional radiologist at BayCare's Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, was on a mission to improve how soft tissue biopsies are conducted. He knew there had to be a way to create a less invasive device that was more accurate for his patients.
The result is CytoCore, a user-friendly, motorized device that produces cellular samples quicker, more comfortably, and effectively than alternative approaches.
Adequacy of cell material is critical in biopsies because it's used to determine whether a mass is malignant and guides in personalized treatment for the patient.
Compared to other biopsy devices, CytoCore is in a league of its own. The instrument is assembled using an internal motor that rotates the needle during biopsy to aid in gathering cells. CytoCore's scissor-slide mechanism draws back suction and activates the motor with a single hand.
Fisher says that his invention, created over two years from vision to launch under his Praxis Medical company, will transform soft tissue biopsy because it uses a smaller needle than its larger biopsy gun counterparts. The procedure is also quicker and carries less bleeding risk because its technology requires fewer passes while increasing diagnostic accuracy. 

Fisher, specialty board certified in neuroradiology and interventional radiology, received his B.A. in chemistry from Southern Methodist University, an M.D. from the University of Kansas School of Medicine, and a Fellowship in Vascular Radiology from Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School.  

"There is no other biopsy device like CytoCore. Other devices include core biopsy needle, which is spring-loaded and fires a sharp edge to cut tissue, and standard fine needles, which is the original way to aspirate samples using a basic syringe and needle," explains Fisher. "The standard fine-needle aspiration has been largely un-improved upon since its advent despite its limitations."

Fisher says CytoCore's unique technology, developed by Praxis Medical in Tampa, works particularly well in thyroid nodules' biopsy, adding that those performed using other technology can have up to a 30 percent inconclusive rate that leads to unnecessary surgeries. 

New iterations of the revolutionary tool are being worked on by Fisher and Praxis Medical, one of which is called EndoCore. It's a device that allows for the same CytoCore benefits to be applied to endoscopic and bronchoscopic biopsy procedures.

"I devote my time and money to this product and company, as well, because I believe in its ability to offer patients better outcomes and improve efficiency for doctors and hospitals alike," Fisher says. "I want to continue developing new medical and medical device products that help patients and improve health and lives and taking them to market."

CytoCore recently received CE Mark approval allowing Praxis Medical to expand its innovative technology into European Union member countries and improve fine needle biopsies globally.
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Read more articles by Allison Koehler.

Allison Koehler is a Cleveland-area native who now lives in Tampa by way of Detroit. She resides in Seminole Heights with her partner, Phil, and three children -- one human and two cats. When she isn't writing, she's watching pro football, listening to music, or streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime.