Kromek Group plc (LON:KMK), a worldwide supplier of detection technology focusing on the medical, security screening and nuclear markets, has announced that it has commenced development of a new system to improve the pathological medical imaging techniques used during cancer surgery to distinguish between healthy and non-healthy tissue – a new application area for Kromek’s technology. The three-year project, which has received grant funding from Innovate UK, is being conducted in partnership with Adaptix Ltd, the developer of a Flat Panel X-ray Source (FPS), and the University of Manchester.
When a cancerous tumour is excised, the surgeon also removes some tissue around the edge of the tumour (the ‘margins’) to be sure that all the cancer has been removed and is not able to spread. These margins are checked for cancerous tissue while surgery is ongoing using ‘pathology cabinets’ that provide 2D or 3D images.
The project is to develop a prototype of a new type of pathology cabinet, based on Kromek’s CZT detectors and Adaptix’s FPS, to produce high-resolution 3D images that provide more accurate differentiation of the boundaries between diseased and healthy tissue. This will enable surgeons to confidently remove the minimum amount of healthy tissue whilst reducing the risk of more than one operation being needed and of cancer spreading from diseased tissue being left after initial surgery. The new system will also be designed to be cost effective and have a small footprint for ease of use in an operating theatre.
Kromek’s CZT detectors are already incorporated into medical devices used for early detection of diseases such as breast cancer, cardiac conditions and osteoporosis.
Dr Arnab Basu, CEO of Kromek, said: “This is an exciting project for Kromek as it takes our CZT-based detectors into a new application area. Our technology is already being used by leading OEMs to enable the early diagnosis of cancer. With this system, we will contribute to improving the outcome of surgeries through greater image quality. It will reduce the risk of diseased tissue remaining and further surgeries being required while minimising the removal of healthy tissue, which will be of great benefit to both healthcare providers and patients. We look forward to working alongside our partners, Adaptix and the University of Manchester, to complete the development of this new system and take it to the next stage.”