Virtual tumours to aid in cancer drug delivery

Virtual tumours to aid in cancer drug delivery

Scientists can now simulate the delivery of cancer drugs and therefore help predict their effectiveness as a result of Rosetrees-funded research from UCL. The research was led by our 2016 Interdisciplinary award winners, Dr. Rebecca Shipley and Dr. Simon Walker-Samuel. The work combines high-resolution imaging and computational modelling to virtually reconstruct cancers for these simulations.Cancers vary markedly in their architecture from patient to patient, which results in considerable variation drug uptake between patients. This makes it difficult to predict which patients will benefit from a drug.

Dr. Simon Walker-Samuel, UCL

The research has significant potential for the development of effective, targeted cancer therapies. The study combined advanced imaging techniques with mathematical modelling, creating virtual simulations able to investigate how drugs are distributed once injected and help predict tumour response.

The framework, named REANIMATE (REAlistic Numerical Image-based Modelling of biologicAl Tissue substratEs), reconstructs tumours so that researchers can run

Dr. Rebecca Shipley, UCL

detailed computational experiments to study the transport of fluid and its complex interactions with biological tissue. Dr. Shipley based in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and Director of UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering, commented “REANIMATE’s integration of ex vivo and in vivo imaging with mathematical modelling is a novel approach that provides an entirely new framework for therapy prediction in tumours.” Dr. Simon Walker-Samuel, UCL Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, explained “These advances are a truly interdisciplinary effort and would not be possible without the combined input of mathematicians, cancer biologists, clinicians, imaging specialists and engineers.”The research was published in Nature Biomedical Engineering and was funded by the Rosetrees Trust and Wellcome Trust. More information can be found here.