Who are we?

We are a group of mathematicians, physicists, biologists and engineers who are using imaging and computer modelling to understand and improve drug delivery to cancerous tumours.

The facts

In the UK, 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. As a result, cancer treatment is expected to cost the NHS £13.2 billion by 2021. For the NHS to cope with these looming demands, novel and effective drug and treatment strategies need to be developed.

What is a tumour?

Tumours are a group of abnormal cells that invade and grow into nearby tissues. Like healthy cells, cancerous cells require oxygen and nutrients to survive. Cancerous cells signal for new blood vessels to spread into the tumour to feed it, allowing the tumour to rapidly grow larger.

Every tumour is unique

A tumour is unique, like a fingerprint. Anti-cancer drugs can be delivered to a tumour by their chaotic, interconnected network of blood vessels. However, these unique networks mean that no one treatment works effectively for everyone.

Building virtual tumours

At University College London, our team of scientists and engineers have combined advanced biomedical imaging techniques with computational modelling through a unified framework called REANIMATE.

REANIMATE allows us to build 3D virtual tumours to perform computational experiments in order to study the transport of blood, biological fluids and drugs within tumours.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

First of all, we image a tumour using MRI. This allows us to identify the tumour location and quantify fluid perfusion and tracer concentrations across the whole tumour. However, it does not allow us to visualise individual blood vessels.

3D microscopy for vascular reconstruction

Secondly, we use advanced biomedical imaging methods to image whole tumour structures in 3D and at high resolution, and then reconstruct them virtually using image analysis tools.

Computational modelling

Finally, we use the reconstructed tumour architectures as the basis for mathematical models that describe blood, fluid and therapy transport.

This enables us to both better understand and predict the mechanisms that determine blood and drug transport in individual tumours.

Predicting treatment response

Through REANIMATE, our virtual tumours allow us to test the effectiveness of new cancer drugs and treatment strategies on a wide range of cancer types.

It is hoped that in the future, our research will enable patients to receive a more personalised therapy, tailored to individual tumours, reducing side effects and making treatment more effective.



Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a copyright violation, please follow the DMCA section in the Terms of Use.