Proof-of-Concept for an Intra-Operative Molecular Imaging Camera and Endoscope

Lead Participant: Lightpoint Medical Ltd


Surgery is the primary treatment option for most types of cancer, yet cancer frequently recurs after surgery. In the UK, almost 1 in 4 breast cancer patients will require re-operation after surgery. The consequences include delayed adjuvant treatment, increased likelihood of distant recurrence, poorer cosmetic and functional outcomes, emotional distress, and financial cost. Cancer frequently requires re-operation due to incomplete excision of the tumor or inadequate clearance of surgical margins. Cancerous tissue fails to be completely excised because, during surgery, the surgeon can only rely on the visual appearance of the tumor and palpation to differentiate malignant versus benign tissue. Consequently, there is a tremendous need for improved tools to detect cancerous tissue during surgery.
Lightpoint Medical is seeking to assess the technical and commercial feasibility of developing an intra-operative molecular imaging camera and endoscope to diagnose cancer in real-time during surgery. Image-guided surgery will enable the surgeon to more accurately remove tumors, thereby reducing the likelihood of post-surgical recurrence. The camera and endoscope will employ a novel molecular imaging technology called Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging (CLI) that enables optical imaging of radiopharmaceuticals. The molecular sensitivity of CLI has the potential to provide the surgeon with a vastly improved tool for detecting malignant tissue during surgery. If the technology is deemed technically and commercially feasible for the clinic, this project will deliver prototypes of a CLI intra-operative camera and a CLI endoscope. The prototypes will be used for pre-clinical testing, testing in a surgical simulator, and improvements to the next phase of product development.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer



Lightpoint Medical Ltd


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