Skip to main content
News & Events May 4, 2021

A device invented by bioengineers at the Perkins led by Dr Brendan Kennedy and UWA with leading breast cancer surgeon Professor Christobel Saunders has achieved a significant milestone in America. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified the breast probe with “breakthrough device designation” deeming it capable of providing more effective treatment of life-threatening or irreversibly debilitating diseases or conditions.

The breast probe, is being commercialised by WA medical technology company OncoRes Medical. The probe helps surgeons more accurately identify the edge of tumours at a cellular level, better enabling them to remove all the cancerous tissue at one time and avoid the need for patients to undergo repeat surgeries.

OncoRes Medical’s breast probe was originally invented by Perkins’ Dr Brendan Kennedy and team at the Bio imaging Research and Innovation for Translational Engineering Lab (BRITELab) in collaboration with UWA and Dept of Health WA. The handheld breast probe device, called a quantitative micro-elastography (QME) imaging system, will assist surgeons in accurately identifying and removing cancerous tissue which can reduce the number of repeat surgeries for breast cancer patients.

Dr Brendan Kennedy leads a team of biomedical engineers at the BRITELab based at the Perkins.

The work on the breast probe began in 2008 when Dr Kennedy worked in the Optical+Biomedical Engineering Laboratory (OBEL) at UWA and has accelerated since the creation of BRITElab in 2016. Since the beginning of the project, the biomedical engineering team worked closely with leading breast cancer surgeon and UWA researcher Professor Christobel Saunders. OncoRes Medical was created to commercialise the breast probe technology.


Read more…recent media coverage with the full story of the breast probe device receiving “breakthrough device designation” from the US FDA:

“Advance in breast cancer surgery”, The Australian: 3 May, pg 3, by Joseph Lam

“OncoRes advances breakthrough cancer device”, Business News: 3 May 2021, online issue, by Jessica Mascione

(R-L) Dr Brendan Kennedy – Head of BRITElab at the perkins, Dr Katherine Giles – OncoRes CEO, and Professor Christobel Saunders – UWA researcher.


The Australian: Mon 3 May 2021, pg 3 – by Joseph Lam