A CHEPSTOW-based company, Creo Medical, has seen its medical technology used in groundbreaking robotics lung cancer treatment trials.

Medical experts say that the trials could lead to diagnosing and removing lung cancer in one sitting, which could transform the lives of patients and the NHS.

The first trial took place in Royal Brompton Hospital, London, this year, with plans to trial a total of 32 patients, who are not eligible or fit for other lung cancer surgeries.

The procedure involves using a CT-scan to create a 3D roadmap of the patient’s lungs to identify the location of the cancer. 

Next, a robotic-led catheter follows the roadmap created by the CT-scan and finds the cancerous cells. 

These cells are then destroyed using a technology known as microwave ablation. The device which carries out this task is called a MicroBlate Flex, which is developed and supplied by the Chepstow-based company.

Experts say that this method allows them to find and remove cancerous nodules with pinpoint precision. 

Chief executive of Creo Medical, Craig Gulliford, said: “Combining diagnosis and treatment in one procedure could potentially be transformational – this reduces the need for the patient to return for a separate, more invasive procedure, which is the current standard of care.

“By removing the gap between diagnosis and treatment, it eliminates the long anxious wait for potential treatment that patients currently have to go through, but it also means that patients can get treatment before a nodule has time to grow in size or spread to other parts of the body.”

There are significant hopes that these medical-robotics trials will be an overwhelming success, with more than 43,000 people being diagnosed with lung cancer annually in the UK, according to the NHS. 

Professor Pallav Shah, a consultant respiratory physician based at Royal Brompton Hospital said the trials can take around 45 minutes but are “generally getting good results”. 

Seven patients have been treated using this trial so far (April 30), but once the 32 patients have been trialled, the next stage is to use patients who are eligible for other surgeries.