TeraView, the Cambridge UK pioneer and leader in terahertz technology, has been cleared by regulators to start trials of a world-first, hand-held breast cancer probe.
With support from the Technology Strategy Board and in collaboration with surgeons at Guy’s Hospital in London, TeraView has developed the device as part of the world’s first commercial terahertz medical unit.
The research unit is capable of imaging a wide range of tissues and is designed to allow developments to move seamlessly through in-vitro, ex vivo and into in vivo studies.
TeraView has received approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to conduct in-vivo clinical trials for biomedical research using its Terahertz Pulsed Imaging solution.
The trial at Guy’s is focused on the use of Terahertz as an intra-operative probe for the detection of cancer tissue during breast cancer surgery.
If successful, the trial will help surgeons better identify and enable accurate removal of cancer tissue in the breast, reduce second operation rates, improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs.
TeraView CEO Don Arnone said: “We are very pleased to have started the in-vivo trials. We have now been working in this area for over 10 years and it is very exciting to see the fruits of our efforts.
“This application of the technology has the potential to significantly improve clinical outcomes, reduce patient stress and reduce operational costs.”
Terahertz technology allows high-resolution subsurface imaging of tissue. It combines macroscopic and microscopic imaging that potentially allows the precise margin delineation of cancer tissue.
Due in part to its ability to recognise spectral fingerprints, TPI™ provides good contrast between different types of soft tissue, and is a sensitive means of detecting the degree of water content as well as other cancer markers.
TeraView’s proprietary TPI™ software is able to convert such molecular markers into 3D images and in so doing aid surgeons in differentiating between cancerous and non-cancerous tissues.
“This is an important development in the journey of our research into the application of terahertz technology in cancer patients and we are excited about the prospect of commencing the first clinical trial in breast cancer patients” said Arnie Purushotham, professor of breast cancer and consultant surgeon at Guy’s & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust.