Clinical evaluation of a miniaturised cancer detection probe

Lead Participant: Lightpoint Medical Ltd


Cancer is one of the leading public health challenges in the UK. Someone is diagnosed with the disease every two minutes. Cancer currently costs the UK £18.3B per annum in healthcare expenses and lost productivity. With predictions that by 2020 almost half of the population will be diagnosed with cancer within their lifetime, the health and economic implications for the UK are considerable.

Surgery remains one of the primary treatment options for cancer patients, but is very often unsuccessful, largely due to the incomplete removal of cancerous tissue, or the cautious excision of healthy tissue.

Surgery often fails because there is no way to accurately detect cancer in real-time during surgery. Surgeons are completely dependent on their naked eye and sense of touch to identify all of the cancerous tissue. With the move towards minimally-invasive, key-hole and robotic surgery, surgeons have now even lost their ability to use their sense of touch and their field of view is increasingly restricted. Numerous technologies have attempted to address the pressing medical need to detect cancer during surgery but none have proven sufficiently accurate and cost-effective.

This project will rapidly advance the development of a miniaturised intra-operative cancer detection probe, EnLight, which is fully compatible with minimally invasive key-hole surgery and robotic surgical systems. The technology potentially offers rapid and high diagnostic performance for intra-operative cancer detection. Laboratory proof-of-concept for the probe has been achieved. This project will evaluate the clinical effectiveness of the technology for detecting cancer during prostate cancer surgery, which is the first priority cancer indication. At the conclusion, this project will deliver the necessary clinical data to establish safety and performance to help secure regulatory approval in the EU and US to initiate commercialisation and clinical translation.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer



Lightpoint Medical Ltd


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