Lightpoint Medical announced today that the company and its surgical collaborators have received £1.7M ($2.8M) in grant funding from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board. The grant funding will be used for clinical trials of Lightpoint’s intra-operative imaging technology in breast cancer and prostate cancer surgery. Collaborators on the clinical trials include Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London, University College Hospital, and University College London. The funding was awarded through the Technology Strategy Board’s Photonics for Healthcare and Stratified Medicine competitions.
Lightpoint’s technology uses molecular imaging to rapidly identify cancerous tissue during surgery. In contrast to competing approaches, Lightpoint’s technology takes advantage of imaging agents already approved by the health authorities and in widespread clinical use. More details on the clinical trial in breast cancer surgery can be found on Clinicaltrials.gov http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02037269.
Dr David Tuch, CEO of Lightpoint Medical, commented: “Breast and prostate cancers are two of the most common cancers worldwide. Unfortunately, surgery often fails to identify and remove all of the cancerous tissue. These clinical trials are an important step in demonstrating that intra-operative molecular imaging can increase the success rate of cancer surgery, reduce re-operations, and improve patient outcomes. We are deeply grateful for the financial support from the Technology Strategy Board for these important clinical trials.”
“The field of urologic cancer surgery is in dire need for better tools to detect cancer during prostatectomy,” said Dr Paul Cathcart, Consultant Urologic Surgeon at University College Hospital. “In each surgery, we face the challenge of excising cancerous tissue while sparing healthy tissue, in particular the nerves required for erectile function. Intra-operative PET imaging using Cerenkov Luminescence is a game-changing approach that could have significant impact in urologic cancer surgery.”
Dr Arnie Purushotham, Professor of Breast Cancer at King’s College London and Honorary Consultant Surgeon at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, commented, “There is a pressing medical need for improved tools to detect cancer in real time during cancer surgery. Current methods based on histopathology take time to inform immediate surgical decision-making. If proven clinically, Lightpoint’s intra-operative technology has the potential to reduce the rate of cancer re-operation and provide a ground-breaking tool for cancer surgery.”