Prostate Cancer Research partners with health-tech start-ups

Prostate Cancer Research has announced it’s partnering with Vine Health, a free information health app, and Lucida Medical, a company specialising in early detection of cancer.

The Vinehealth app will be updated with new information from Prostate Cancer Research to support people with a reliable source of information.

The partnership aims to work towards supporting people living with prostate cancer to access information and research, as well as enabling them to track, manage and understand their care.

Prostate Cancer Research has also supported Cambridge-based start-up Lucida Medical, raising seed capital from a group of investors led by XTX Ventures. The company aims to disrupt the cancer diagnostic pathway with technology that finds cancer more accurately by analysing MRI.

The funding will be used to support a 2,000-patient clinical study, aiming to analyse the automation of labour-intensive tasks such as marking out lesions.

Lucida Medical Co-founders Prof Evis Sala and Dr Antony Rix have developed the software using radiogenomics, machine learning and image processing to analyse magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Lucida is now on a mission to screen up to 54 million men for prostate cancer each year using its technology.

Dr Antony Rix, CEO, Lucida Medical, commented: “We are grateful that XTX Ventures and PCR recognise the potential of AI in oncology. Today, about half of cancers are found when they have already spread and this makes them difficult and costly to treat. Our unique approach could allow patients to get exactly the tests, diagnosis and treatment that they need. With around 20 million new cases of cancer diagnosed each year worldwide, there is enormous potential for us to improve patients’ outcomes and reduce costs for health systems like the NHS.”

Prof Evis Sala, Professor of Oncological Imaging at the University of Cambridge, added: “We are tremendously excited about the potential of this system to enhance our ability to detect cancer accurately and early. We are now looking forward to working with hospitals and radiology and urology partners to prove the technology and bring it into clinical use. COVID-19 has created a serious backlog in cancer screening and Lucida Medical is well placed to help us clear this and improve the care that we offer further over the coming years.”