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Following more than two decades of effort, reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) imaging of skin was granted codes for reimbursement by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

RCM imaging can spare patients from biopsy of benign lesions.

By Stephanie Grauden | May 09, 2017

Wausau, WI (May 9, 2017) – Research conducted by Milind Rajadhyaksha, PhD; Ashfaq Marghoob, MD; Anthony Rossi, MD; Allan C. Halpern, MD; and Kishwer S. Nehal, MD was selected as Editor’s Choice in the January 2017 issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (LSM).

The manuscript titled, “Reflectance confocal microscopy of skin in vivo: From bench to bedside” was published in LSM, the official journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS).

Reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) imaging of skin has been proven to be a successful non-invasive tool in identifying benign lesions. The use of RMC imaging can spare patients the pain and cost of a skin biopsy. The RCM imaging procedure has now been a granted category I current procedural terminology (CPT) reimbursement code, therefore the opportunity exists for RCM to become a more widely adopted procedure. The success of RCM imaging may also pave the way for other emerging non-invasive optical technologies.

“This review paper highlights the two-decade journey of reflectance confocal microcopy (RCM) of skin from initial instrumentation development on the bench, through commercialization, translational and clinical research, receiving CPT codes for reimbursement, and, finally, to routine implementation in clinics for noninvasive diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, while sparing patients from biopsies of benign skin lesions,” stated Dr. Rajadhyaksha. “Still much more work lies ahead toward wider dissemination, acceptance and adoption of RCM imaging, and the paper also highlights key challenges and opportunities for the next two decades.”

Milind Rajadhyaksha, PhD, is a mechanical/optical engineer, an associate member of the faculty in dermatology, and directs a research program in confocal microscopy at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His work spans the entire spectrum from laboratory research through commercialization through translational/clinical studies to clinical implementation. He develops and translates confocal microscopes for noninvasive diagnosis and therapy of skin cancers, and enjoys working in the so-called "valley of death" (and living through near-death experiences) between laboratory and clinic and between academia and industry.

Editor’s Choice is an exclusive article published in LSM, the official journal of the ASLMS. View the complete manuscript.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc. (ASLMS) is the largest multi-disciplinary professional organization, dedicated to the development and application of lasers and related technology for health care applications. ASLMS promotes excellence in patient care by advancing biomedical application of lasers and other related technologies worldwide. Currently, ASLMS has over 4,000 members, including physicians and surgeons representing more than 51 specialties, physicists involved in product development, biomedical engineers, biologists, nurses, industry representatives and manufacturers.

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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