Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) develops in the tissue that lines the bladder’s inner surface. NMIBC is characterized by a high recurrence rate of up to 80%, which means that, in most cases, the conventional therapeutic approach does not eliminate the malignancy.
Traditionally, NMIBC is treated via transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT), a surgical procedure involving removing cancerous tissue. This treatment is followed by a series of intravesical (within the bladder) instillations, namely the administration of medication or irrigation fluid directly into the bladder via a urinary catheter, which may damage or scar the bladder, and have life-altering side effects.
CAPS Medical is an Israeli start-up company focusing on developing a non-thermal atmospheric plasma (NTAP) device for a minimally invasive procedure intended to treat a wide range of tumors while avoiding surgery. Non-thermal atmospheric plasmas are streams of low-ionized gas that selectively destroy cancer cells and encourage the body’s natural healing process. Their ability to trigger an immunological effect has been established.
To date, however, the high energy required for existing non-thermal plasma applications necessitated large-sized devices. This makes using non-thermal plasma to treat cancerous tumors in minimally invasive procedures unfeasible. Overcoming these limitations, CAPSs Medical has created an innovative device for NTAP delivery using minimally invasive tools, eliminating the need for surgery.
Using a small diameter endoscopic probe, CAPS Medical’s technology makes it possible for patients suffering from cancerous tumors to undergo a procedure aimed at destroying their tumor without harming the healthy surrounding tissue, leading to a better outcome and prognosis.
To assess the safety and technical performance of the NTAP device in the treatment of NMIBC, CAPS Medical joined forces with Sheba’s Urology Department, which provides treatment for about 23,000 inpatients per year, and is actively involved in many cancer research projects. This was the first-ever worldwide study for minimally invasive treatment of bladder cancer using non-thermal plasma.
Prof. Zohar Dotan, Director of Sheba’s Department of Urology and the principal investigator of the trial at Sheba, explains: “We hope that CAPS Medical’s NTAP solution will help reduce the cancer recurrence rate by replacing the existing TURBT procedure while also avoiding the typical side effects, damage to the bladder and complications associated with the treatment options available today.”
On her part, Harel Gadot, Executive Chairman of CAPS Medical and Company Group Chairman of MEDX Ventures Group, stressed: “With its NTAP system, CAPS Medical is overcoming a real barrier within the cancer treatment ecosystem. The NTAP procedure selectively targets cancer cells with greater precision, which should lead to fewer side effects than many current treatment options. We look forward to seeing the company progress through its clinical trials.”
In keeping with its commitment to providing hope without boundaries, Sheba will continue to forge collaborations aimed at developing innovative, cutting-edge treatments ensuring the best possible care for our patients.