Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging Used to Guide Prostate Surgery

Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging Used to Guide Prostate Surgery

A clinical trial is due to be conducted using Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging to guide prostate surgery. The trail is being conducted by the Netherlands Cancer Institute, and will use the molecular imaging technology developed by Lightpoint Medical.

The Lightpoint LightPath platform, which is based on Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging, will be tested on patients undergoing prostate surgery. It is hoped that the imaging platform can help surgeons differentiate between healthy and cancerous tissue in the prostate during surgery.

Prostate cancer is the leading form of cancer affecting men in Europe. Each year, there are 350,000 new diagnoses. While surgery is an option for patients suffering from prostate cancer, the identification and removal of all cancerous cells is difficult. Currently used imaging technologies have limitations and new technologies are needed to allow surgeons to visualize cancerous cells in real time.

When a charged particle passes through a medium at a speed greater than the speed of light in that medium, the electromagnetic emissions can be detected using Cherenkov Luminescence Imaging. While the technique was first proposed for use in surgery in 2009, since the levels of light are low, accurate detection has been problematic. The level of light produced is far lower than fluorescence and bioluminescence.

However, technology has now been developed to allow these low light levels to be detected. In just four years, Lightpoint Medical has developed its platform from concept to the point where it can be used in a clinical trial. The trial will use Cerenkov Luminescence Imaging to identify the prostate cancer biomarker Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) in real time during surgery.

The trial is being conducted on a small number of patients, with plans to extend the trail if the initial results look promising. It is hoped that the new technique will allow surgeons to remove the cancerous tissue and spare healthy tissue and reduce recurrence rates.

“Intraoperative molecular imaging holds enormous potential in prostate cancer surgery,” said David Tuch of Lightpoint Medical. “This project will bring the technology a step closer to the patients in need of better treatment options.”

“One of the major advantages of CLI over fluorescence imaging is that it uses imaging agents that are already regulatory approved and clinically validated,” said Tuch, “Consequently, CLI bypasses the insurmountable capital and time required to get approval for novel imaging drugs. It also allows for direct correspondence between pre-operative imaging, intra-operative imaging, and follow-up.”

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