FormaPath Announces Advancement in Cancer Pathology With the Launch of AdiPress

about us banner image

Cutting-edge medical technology company launches the first-ever, automated tool for lymph node dissection to support cancer staging for patients with solid tumors

Ithaca, NY (November 28, 2023) — Today, FormaPath announced the commercial launch of AdiPress, the first and only automated tool to standardize lymph node dissection. With this innovation, cancer-focused pathology practices can now automate the recovery of lymph nodes within fatty cancer tissue, to ensure more precise staging of cancer patients to guide their follow up therapy intended to prevent cancer recurrence.

For decades, pathology labs have relied on manual dissection of lymph nodes for cancer staging, using a traditional method that samples a subset of lymph nodes within a tissue specimen using a scalpel, and then relying on this subset to represent all the nodes that were surgically removed. For example, medical society guidelines require a pathologist to check a minimum of 12 nodes to make a staging call for colon cancer. However, most colon cancer tissue specimens have many more than 12 nodes, thus, the sampling approach always carries the risk that positive nodes can be missed, which may result in “under-staging”, in which case the patient may receive too little follow-up, or adjuvant, therapy, reducing their chances for a successful long-term outcome. 

The use of an automated method to identify lymph nodes has the potential to impact colorectal cancer staging after surgery.

- Dr. Michael Dugan, MD, Chief Medical Officer, FormaPath

AdiPress reduces this risk by automating the dissection of lymph nodes from fatty cancer tissue. The proprietary Automated Compressive Filtration (ACF) process performed by AdiPress separates all lymph nodes found in pericolic fat, yielding concentrated lymphatic tissue. This tissue is then captured in square wells within specialized tissue containers called LymFilters, ready for standard microscopic analysis. With the use of AdiPress, MD pathologists, pathology assistants, medical oncologists, and patients can be more confident in the accuracy of pathology reports, which will determine their treatment options. 

Importantly, another problem faced by many pathology labs today is a shortage of skilled labor. By automating this nodal dissection step, the time required to isolate relevant lymph nodes is reduced to about 2 minutes, as opposed to tedious, manual dissection that can take up to 45 minutes. Standardization of lymph node dissection via the ACF process ensures reproducibility, reducing variation related to manual dissection by different personnel. The payoff for laboratories can be significant, as skilled labor can be shifted to other work with the time saved. Removing extraneous fat from lymph nodes using ACF also means that pathologists can review microscopic slides more easily. 

The launch of AdiPress is a key turning point for the automated lab of the future. AdiPress, which improves workflow and creates process standardization, will be the future backbone of all labs processing cancer specimens. I look forward to working with labs to demonstrate the immediate value that AdiPress can bring to their operations.

- Alex Bodell, Chief Technology Officer, FormaPath

FormaPath is actively marketing AdiPress to labs in the US to start, focusing on those facilities in cancer centers with high case volumes and hospital networks with multiple labs under management. Any interested labs can request a product demonstration via the FormaPath website. 

Once again I am fortunate to help oncology practice improve as another legacy method for diagnostic classification is upgraded with a new standardized system. Having been involved in precision medicine for over 20 years, it is gratifying to bring this major advance into clinical practice. Unlike other disruptive technologies I have launched, AdiPress serves the interests of all relevant stakeholders. Nobody who currently works with lymph node dissection will miss the passing of the antiquated and labor-intensive procedure for manual dissection. We believe that once the impact of AdiPress is understood in the wider market, the concept of “Census-level” dissection will become the new standard for tumor staging, and any approach that relies on mere sampling will be left behind as inadequate. Patients deserve no less.

- Ted Snelgrove, Chief Executive Officer, FormaPath