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Imaging the Force of Cancer

Imaging the Force of Cancer

Objective

Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in EU member states with ~90% of all cancer deaths caused by metastatic spread. Despite its significance, measuring metastatic potential as well as potential indicators of therapy efficacy remain unmet clinical challenges. Recently, it has been demonstrated in vitro, that aggressive metastatic cells pull on their surroundings suggesting that metastatic potential could be gauged by measuring the forces exert by tumours. Furthermore, many solid tumours show a significantly increased interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) which prevents the efficient uptake of therapeutic agents. As a result, a reduction in IFP is recognized as a hallmark of therapeutic efficacy. Currently, there is no non-invasive modality that can directly image these forces in vivo.
Our objective is the non-invasive measurement of both IFP within tumours as well as the forces they exert on their surrounding environment. This will be used to predict a tumour’s metastatic potential and importantly, changes in these forces will be used to predict the therapeutic efficacy of drug therapy. To attain this goal, the biomechanical properties of the tumour and its neighbouring tissue will be measured via MR-elastography at various measured deformation states. Resultant images will be used to reconstruct images of the internal and external forces acting on the tumour. We call this novel imaging modality Magnetic Resonance Force (MRF) imaging .
We will calibrate MRF via cell cultures and pre-clinical models, and then test the method in breast, liver, and brain cancer patients. Thereby, we will investigate whether MRF data can predict metastatic spread and measure IFP in patients. We will also investigate the potential to non-invasively modulate the force environment of cancer cells via externally applied shear forces with the aim of impacting cell motility and proliferation. This can provide novel mechanism for anticancer therapeutic agents via mechanotransduction.

Coordinator

KING'S COLLEGE LONDON

Address

Strand
Wc2r 2ls London

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 2 196 560

Participants (15)

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THE INSTITUTE OF CANCER RESEARCH: ROYAL CANCER HOSPITAL

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 631 701,25

EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE ZUERICH

Switzerland

CHARITE - UNIVERSITAETSMEDIZIN BERLIN

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 515 000

INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE

France

EU Contribution

€ 343 100

ASSISTANCE PUBLIQUE - HOPITAUX DE PARIS

France

EU Contribution

€ 271 020

UNIVERSITAT BASEL

Switzerland

UNIVERSITETET I OSLO

Norway

EU Contribution

€ 731 000

UNIVERSITAET LEIPZIG

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 503 500

SCREENCELL

France

EU Contribution

€ 322 500

CERMAKOVA IVA

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 150 375

INTEGRATED TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 98 500

PHILIPS MEDICAL SYSTEMS NEDERLAND BV

Netherlands

SANOFI-AVENTIS RECHERCHE & DEVELOPPEMENT

France

UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Australia

THE BRIGHAM AND WOMEN'S HOSPITAL INC

United States

EU Contribution

€ 49 375

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 668039

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2016

  • End date

    31 December 2019

Funded under:

H2020-EU.3.1.3.

  • Overall budget:

    € 7 418 116,25

  • EU contribution

    € 5 812 631,25

Coordinated by:

KING'S COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom