Grants awarded

Optical characterisation of epithelial tissue function and metabolism for early cancer diagnosis and treatment monitoring

Grantholder:

Dr Lucia Florescu

University of Surrey

United Kingdom

More than 80% of cancers occur in directly or endoscopically accessible epithelial tissue lining the surfaces and cavities of organs and are preceded by a curable precancerous stage. For these cancers, clinical evaluation based on subjective visual impression is still the most widely employed method for assessing lesions. There is an urgent need for new approaches to epithelial tissue characterisation for objective early cancer diagnosis and monitoring.

We will develop and evaluate an optical imaging technology that will enable clinicians to see accurate 3D images of precancerous and cancerous changes in the epithelial tissue, the extent of disease, and early changes associated with treatment. The technology will be applied to tissue samples in the laboratory and to live tissue to define clinical criteria for objective early diagnosis and assessment of treatment success.

This development will improve cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment and greatly increase the chances of a cure while also reducing the cost to patients and healthcare systems. The new technology will also represent a valuable tool for cancer biology studies, which in turn may lead to new cancer treatments.