UC Riverside tests new biopsy device for cervical cancer


A research team at the University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside) in the US has evaluated a new device manufactured by tissue sampling devices maker Histologics.

Designed to collect biopsy samples for cervical cancer testing, the new fabric-based endocervical curettage features a fabric hook for sample collection.

The existing metal scraping devices that are used to procure a small sample of cells from the cervix are considered to be painful, and do not deliver consistent and accurate results.

Intended to simultaneously biopsy, trap and store tissue for transport to the lab, the new fabric hook is intended to be less painful and reduce patient discomfort.

UC Riverside School of Medicine obstetrics/gynaecology assistant clinical professor Justin Diedrich said that the fabric-based endocervical curettage yielded significantly less inadequate specimens, eliminating the need for repeat biopsies of the patient.

"This could be the difference between intervening early before someone develops cancer and waiting until it has grown larger."

During the study, the researchers assessed samples from 81 physician and nurse colposcopists who switched from conventional metal devices to the fabric-based version.

The pathology lab results obtained from both before and after the switch of devices were analysed.

Diedrich said: “Minimally invasive office procedures for evaluating the outside of the cervix have been around for at least ten years, but this is the first product to evaluate the inside of the cervix with such ease.

“Because the biopsy gets more tissue, it is able to find more pre-cancerous cells. This could be the difference between intervening early before someone develops cancer and waiting until it has grown larger.”

Expected to provide better results with increased patient satisfaction, the device does not require a colposcopist clinician to handle the specimen or clean biopsy devices, decreasing the contamination risk.