New technology to revolutionise bedside tumour diagnosis in patients

Researchers from the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham are developing a revolutionary mini gamma ray camera that will improve the diagnosis of tumours and lymph nodes from patients’ bedsides.

The handheld ‘hybrid’ technology, which combines optical and gamma imaging, will also improve the efficiency and accuracy of removing tumours during surgery.

The small mobile camera will advance nuclear imaging by allowing imaging procedures at a patient’s bedside, in operating theatres and intensive care units. This will allow surgeons to localise and map tumours and sentinel nodes to patient anatomy with greater accuracy during surgery.

The project to develop the mini gamma ray camera is led by Dr John Lees from the Department of Physics and Astronomy and is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Challenge Led Applied Systems Programme (CLASP).

Dr Lees said: “Our system will improve surgical cancer treatments, reducing mortality and morbidity by enabling surgeons to increase lymph or tumour removal efficiency while minimising damage to normal tissue.”

The Universities of Leicester and Nottingham have a spin-out company, Gamma Technologies Ltd (GTL), which has raised over £250K first stage venture funding as a result of the CLASP project.

A podcast interview with Dr John Lees discussing the background of the project and how space technology can be used to save lives on Earth is available below: