Lightpoint Medical and Telix Pharmaceuticals have entered a strategic partnership agreement to explore the potential of integrating their technologies for radioguided surgery (RGS) to spot cancer in real time.

Lightpoint is a UK based medical device company that focuses on developing and marketing miniaturised imaging and sensing solutions to aid minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgical procedures.

It has developed a miniature surgical gamma probe, named SENSEI, to detect radiation in patients and offer guidance during cancer surgery.

In January, Lightpoint received CE Mark approval for SENSEI for sentinel lymph node detection.

The device can be inserted into a surgical port and then controlled by the doctor during surgery.

Along with molecularly targeted imaging agents, SENSEI facilitates intra-operative real-time cancer identification to aid surgeons with removing cancer without impacting healthy, functional tissue.

As part of the alliance, Telix and Lightpoint will analyse the use of the former’s experimental prostate cancer single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging agent TLX599-CDx (99mTc-HYNIC-iPSMA) along with SENSEI to detect cancerous pelvic lymph nodes during surgery.

The partnership aims to obtain regulatory approval for the use of SENSEI together with TLX599-CDx for prostate cancer surgery.

Lightpoint Medical CEO Graeme Smith said: “Surgeons currently have no reliable way to detect cancer intra-operatively, relying on sight or touch during an operation. As a result, cancer may be left behind or healthy tissue needlessly removed.

“The powerful combination of SENSEI alongside Telix’s groundbreaking molecularly-targeted imaging agents has the potential to create an extremely precise technique to help surgeons detect cancer that might not otherwise be found during surgery, or conversely, confirm the absence of disease to help surgeons retain healthy, functional tissue.”

Telix expects this alliance to complement its ongoing partnership with Mauna Kea Technologies to create image-guided surgical technologies in the urologic oncology field.