Sensus Healthcare Inc. (SRTS) is marketing devices that offer some non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) patients an alternative to traditional Mohs surgery.
Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sensus' superficial radiation therapy (SRT) technology allows doctors to apply radiation skin-deep, rather than irradiating other tissue that does not need treatment. It can also treat keloid skin growths.
Skin cancer includes melanoma, which affects cells producing the pigment melanin, and NMSC, which takes the form of basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell cancer occurs in the skin as does squamous cell cancer, but the latter is more likely to grow deeper into the skin and spread.
Occasionally NMSC can affect other parts of the body, including lymph glands.
Mohs surgery, invented by Dr. Frederick Mohs in the 1930s, has long been the first line of defense against basal and squamous cell cancers, and it allows surgeons to pare down the cancerous skin without going deeper and damaging other tissue.
At the time, it's not a process many people wish to repeat and, according to Sensus co-founder and CEO Joseph Sardano, physicians and Mohs surgeons may recommend that patients opt for superficial radiation therapy.
Mohs treatment can leave scarring or lead to infections, and some patients may not be able to tolerate the process.
Sardano also noted that while there only about 1,000 Mohs specialists in the country, the incidence of skin cancer is growing at a fast clip.
"The effects of U.V. exposure have tended to incubate over a long period of time and then manifest when patients are in their 60s," Sardano told The Deal. "But over the last decade there has been a 400% increase in NMSC in women between the ages of 18 and 40."
Sardano said that widespread use of tanning beds is likely responsible for much of the increase.
He also noted other causes that have nothing to do with U.V. exposure, including environmental factors. People who received organ transplants are also extremely likely to develop skin cancer. The skin -- an organ itself -- may react adversely to the transplant.
A word to the wise from Sardano - the human nose is the sun's first target, and Mohs and other surgeries to handle cancer manifesting on the nose are not pleasant to undergo and may have aesthetically unappealing results.
The Sensus SRT-100 device applies radiation to a maximum depth of about five millimeters, sparing the tissue and bone beneath from the potentially harsh effects of radiation.
The SRT-Vision device incorporates ultrasound imaging technology, which allows the surgeon to track the progress of the radiation where it's not visible to the naked eye. At the same time, the radiation level can be adjusted closely.
The company works with Pinnacle Health Group to reimburse patients.
Business is heating up for the company, which recently reported June quarter results. The company posted revenues of $4.97 million, up from $3.57 million in the same period last year.
On a six-month basis, revenues were up over 40% to $9.32 million.