Netherlands Cancer Institute awarded funding to use molecular imaging in prostate cancer surgery

The ability to distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous tissue in real-time has great potential among surgeons. Recent funding given to the Netherlands Cancer Institute may help with this problem.  

On Oct. 17,  the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) was awarded funding from the Dutch Cancer Society to apply molecular imaging technology to prostate cancer surgery. The funding will allow the institute to test whether molecular imaging technology can more effectively remove cancerous tissue during prostate cancer surgery.  

“If this technique is successful, we will be able to guide the urologist in the most optimal way by combining pre-operative staging with per-operative imaging using the same tracer," said Marcel Stokkel, MD, Nuclear Medicine Physician at NKI, in a statement. "If the resection margins can be assessed with highest accuracy during surgery, we might become able to improve recurrence and survival rates."   

This testing is made possible with the collaboration from industry partners Lightpoint Medical and Philips, as well as the University of Twente in the Netherlands, according to Stokkel.  

Ultimately, if this test proves successful, using molecular imaging technology during prostate cancer surgery will moved to larger clinical trials. The goal for this test is that while undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, healthy tissue will be saved and the chance of malignant tissue returning will be dramatically reduced if not stopped all together.