Lightpoint Medical has received a €2.4m grant from the European Commission (EC) as part of the Horizon 2020 European Union Framework programme for Research and Innovation.

The grant will allow the company to conduct a large-scale clinical trial on breast cancer.

The trial is designed to reduce the rate of re-operations in breast cancer, potentially preventing many thousands of women globally from facing additional surgery, as well as offer cost savings to national healthcare systems.

More than 300 breast cancer patients from several hospitals in the UK, Germany and France will be included in the trial, which will evaluate the LightPath Imaging system to identify cancer.

The company recently launched the LightPath system following authorisation and pioneering feasibility studies in breast cancer surgery at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital and prostate cancer at University College Hospital London.

"We are deeply grateful to the Horizon 2020 programme for supporting a large-scale international clinical trial of the LightPath technology."

LightPath is claimed to be the world’s first medical device approved for intra-operative molecular imaging. The device accurately images several cancer types in real-time and at a scale that can fit within an operating room.

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The system is designed to help surgeons ensure they have removed all cancerous tissue in a single operation. The technology also has a potential application in a wide range of major cancer types, including prostate and lung cancer.

Lightpoint Medical CEO Dr David Tuch said: "We are deeply grateful to the Horizon 2020 programme for supporting a large-scale international clinical trial of the LightPath technology.

"This award will help demonstrate the power of image-guided surgery to improve breast cancer surgery, and reduce the number of patients having to undergo repeat operations."

For breast cancer, surgery remains the primary treatment, although its failure rate is high.

Image: The LightPath Imaging system is commercially available in Europe. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsFoto / Lightpoint Medical.