Market research for an intra-operative molecular imaging fibrescope for breast cancer surgery

Lead Participant: Lightpoint Medical Ltd


Nearly 1 in 4 breast cancer patients in the UK will see their cancer return after surgery. The
consequences include repeat operations, delayed adjuvant treatment, increased likelihood of
distant recurrence, poorer cosmetic outcomes, emotional distress, and enormous financial
cost. Breast cancer recurs after surgery primarily due to incomplete excision of the tumour or
inadequate clearance of the surgical margins. Surgeons are unable to completely remove the
cancer because the only tools they have to detect cancer during surgery are visual and tactile
assessment. Consequently, there is a tremendous medical need for improved tools to detect
cancer during surgery.
Lightpoint Medical is developing a molecular imaging fibrescope to detect cancer in real-time
during surgery, and thereby reduce the chance of cancer recurring. The technology is based on
Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging (CLI), a ground-breaking imaging modality that can
perform optical imaging of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging agents. The
fibrescope is a flexible fibre optic bundle that the surgeon can use to image inside the surgical
cavity. Initial market research supported by the TSB revealed a high demand for Lightpoint's
technology among oncology surgeons.
In this project, we will interview 15 breast cancer surgeons to collect their in-depth feedback
on the fibrescope’s design, usability, performance, and workflow integration. The feedback
from the surgeons will be used to improve the fibrescope design before embarking on fullscale
product development and clinical trials.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer



Lightpoint Medical Ltd


10 25 50