IGT Network+ partners Perspectum Diagnostics and the University of Edinburgh have been awarded £1.1m by Innovate UK for a project to develop MR-based technology in surgical planning for patients with liver cancer.

The project – called HepaT1ca – involves the University of Edinburgh and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The project is led by University of Oxford spin-out company Perspectum Diagnostics which has developed the technology, called LiverMultiScan™.

Surgery is the most effective treatment for liver tumours. Doctors typically remove the section of the liver that is affected by cancer and leave the remainder of the organ intact. The remaining part of the liver needs to function well enough for the patient to survive after surgery until the liver can regenerate back to full health.

Some 1600 operations are performed in the UK each year and rates worldwide are rising faster than for any other cancer. Previous research into surgical complications has identified poor liver health – caused by pre-existing chronic liver disease – as a key contributor to post-op liver failure.

The LiverMultiScan™ system can safely and accurately identify poor liver health caused by excessive fat, inflammation, scar tissue or high iron content. The non-invasive technology aims to provide a detailed picture of liver health to help the multidisciplinary surgical team assess the risks of major liver surgery. It also aims to help track the effect of chemotherapy and gauge the health of a regenerated liver after surgery.

Find out more about the project on the Perspectum Diagnostics and University of Edinburgh websites.