Cancer Surgery

Cancer surgery is a critical step in the overall treatment of cancer. The goal in all cancer surgeries is to remove all of the cancerous tissue; however, surgeons do not have adequate tools to immediately detect cells left behind after initial resection. The only way to be sure today is to wait for the definitive pathology report to come back – days after the surgery is complete.


Lumicell is changing this with a hand-held imaging system that will give surgeons real-time, comprehensive feedback about whether any cancer is left behind in the tumor bed following initial tumor resection. The company’s lead product, the Lumicell System, is in late-stage development for breast cancer surgery. It features an investigational optical agent and a handheld device that enable cancer surgeons to see and remove cancer cells in real-time during operations.


The Lumicell System was designed and developed by MIT engineers in partnership with leading breast cancer surgeons to fit seamlessly within the existing surgical workflow. The Lumicell System is also under investigation for colorectal cancer, Barrett’s esophagus and brain metastases.


Lumicell completed a Phase 1 safety study at Duke University Medical Center in the lead indications of breast cancer and sarcoma and the first part in a two stage feasibility study at Massachusetts General Hospital in breast cancer surgery. The company is starting the next phase of its feasibility study under an FDA-approved IDE in breast cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Clinical trial information can be found here.