Anne Blackwood, chief executive, Health Enterprise East (HEE) provides an insight into an innovative imaging device that uses artificial intelligence to provide safer resection of brain tumours.
This latest breakthrough may have the potential to improve patient outcomes, providing real-time feedback during surgery.
There is a pronounced unmet need in the NHS for a cost-effective, precise intraoperative imaging technology for neurooncology surgery (i.e. craniotomy). In 2018, there were 270,000 new brain tumour cases worldwide with a five-year survival rate of 35%, and data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that brain tumours are the leading cause of cancer death in children and adults under 45 (with 3800 deaths per year in England and Wales; accounting for 2.6% of all cancer deaths). Not only is this a huge healthcare challenge, the socioeconomic burden of brain tumours is also significant – amounting to £578 million per year among working age people
Currently, surgery is the mainstay of brain tumour treatment, which is clinically proven to improve survival rates. Targeted and immune therapies fail to provide benefits, and, at present, no promising novel treatments are on the horizon. Thus, it is critical to optimise our existing treatments
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