‘Google Earth’ for tumours could change cancer diagnostics and drug testing forever

Anne Li                                                                                                March 12th, 2017


Think of a tumour like a rapidly growing city within a patient’s body. Doctors can scan the patient to locate the tumour, much like a satellite can scan the earth and map its cities. And scientists can get a sense of the tumour at ‘street level’ by looking at its communities of cells through tissue samples and gene-sequencing technology. But combining all this information for each cell in a tumour to guide diagnosis and treatment can’t yet be done. Our ability to navigate this city, and how it changes, is incomplete. And no single scientific technique can capture all the details of a tumour to recreate zooming in and out of a map on a smartphone, for example. Without more complete maps of tumours, scientists and doctors are wandering through unknown territory. “Until we completely understand how tumours are made up it will be very difficult to develop the next wave of treatments for cancer,” says Dr Josephine Bunch, from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in London. But Bunch’s international team, which received £16 million through our Grand Challenge award last month, think they now have the technology to make complete maps of tumours that are so desperately needed.


See original article at: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2017/03/07/google-earth-for-tumours-could-change-cancer-diagnostics-and-drug-testing-forever/

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