England-based cancer imaging centers set to receive $56.2M in funding

Cancer Research UK (London, England) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC; Swindon, England) are together committing $56.2 million (£35 million) for five years to four separate cancer imaging research centers across the country. The initiative builds on a $80.3 million (£50 million) initial investment in October 2008.

This latest funding will bring together scientists, engineers, and clinicians to develop new imaging techniques (including optical microscopy) and applications that will help clinicians learn more about how tumors feed and grow, how cancer cells signal to one another, tumor blood supply, the environment surrounding tumors, and molecular and genetic signatures.

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The University of Oxford; the Institute of Cancer Research, London; a joint imaging center between King’s College London and University College London; and a new collaboration between the University of Cambridge and University of Manchester will all receive funding.

The cancer imaging center in Cambridge and Manchester combines cutting-edge translational research and clinical trials with state-of-the-art imaging, genomics, and preclinical research. By combining these two locations, the center has access to a large patient population and vital clinical trials infrastructure.

The University of Oxford center aims to integrate basic research in chemistry, physics, and cancer biology with imaging science to guide treatment choices for cancer patients.

The center at King’s College London and University College London combines cutting-edge technology development at King’s College London with the genomics expertise and clinical trials as well as access to the first clinical simultaneous positron emission tomography (PET)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facility in the UK. The facility focuses on determining the differences in a patient’s tumor and in bringing new imaging methods to the clinic.

And finally, the center at The Institute of Cancer Research, London is part of the largest comprehensive cancer center in Europe and will focus on enabling personalized medicine for each individual patient. New imaging techniques, such as identifying an imaging ‘fingerprint’ of aggressive disease, will help determine which tumors have the greatest risk of progression.

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