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DeHCA Objectives



DeHCA Program pursues the objective to develop and bring to the market an innovative device aimed at diagnosing tumors at their very early stages, independently of the characteristics of the considered tissues.

Challenges and Background

Social Challenge: Improve Breast Cancer prevention, the today primary cause of cancer death in women aged 35-49 years worldwide.

Economic Challenge: Contribute to reduce Breast Tumors costs, today accounting for large portions of National Health Services’ budgets.

Early detection by screening is the cornerstone of breast cancer control, but today women below 50 and all those with dense breast have a very limited access to screening because mammography (present Gold Standard) proves ineffective in presence of dense breasts and breast glandular tissue has a high radiosensitivity to mammography used ionizing radiations, particularly in premenopausal women.
There is a strong correlation between tumor stages, survival rate and costs: the smaller the tumor when detected, the higher the chance of survival, the lower the associated costs because treatments differ dramatically from lower to higher stages.
The adoption of a reliable, quick and cheap detection technology would lead to:  

  • Less and lighter surgical interventions
  • Softer radiant and drug therapies
  • Reduced costs for physical rehabilitation and psychological support
  • Shorter duration of inability to work
  • More efficient monitoring of treatments and follow-up

Concept and Approach

The conception of DeHCA L&S resulted from three converging considerations:

  • On the medical side, the increasing concern of physicians about the growing number of dense breasts and decreasing age at which women are hit by breast cancer;
  • On the scientific side, the realization that with today’s technologies, neither morphological nor functional examinations alone are able to discover and locate lesions in their very early stage;
  • On the commercial side, the discovery of a unique market opportunity for a device able to fill the present clinical gap at a reasonable price, affordable to medium/small clinical centres.

DeHCA Light & Sound

A Device to Identify Breast Tumor’s Settling Stages


DeHCA Light & Sound (DeHCA L&S) is an innovative medical device aimed to detect breast tumors’ initial stages before tumors are settled and visible, independently of breast density and size.

DeHCA L&S is:
based upon optical and ultrasound technologies
not ionizing

DeHCA L&S will:

  • change the present paradigms: from radiations to optical light and ultrasound, from looking for tumors to looking for tumor indicators first (neo-angiogenesis), from only morphologicalto functional + morphological information;
  • change the market structure bringing screening from few large Hospitals only to many Health Centers on the territory, making breast screening really available for crowd.

DeHCA L&S fulfils the fundamental requirements:

  • Intended Use: revealing early stage tumors independently of breast density and size;
  • Applications: prevention and screening, with particular attention to young women;
  • Features: functional and morphological analysis.


A multi-site trial is ongoing within the frame of the Fast Breast Check project (see link below), funded by Regione Lombardia, and aimed to validate DeHCA L&S and create awareness among the under-50 population. Trial sites are the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) and the S.Raffaele Hospital, two of the most prestigious cancer centers in Italy.