The Oxford Cancer Imaging Centre is set to get a major boost as part of a wider £35 million nationwide initiative to develop-cutting edge imaging technologies for cancer research.
Earlier this month, a £5.5 million osteoarthritis research centre was launched at the University of Oxford.
The Oxford Cancer Imaging Centre aims to integrate basic research in chemistry, physics and cancer biology with imaging science to guide treatment choices for cancer patients. Some of the research projects supported by this funding include drugs to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as methods to investigate differences between individual breast cancer patients' response to treatment.
Professor Ruth Muschel, co-director of the Oxford Cancer Imaging Centre, said: 'At the Oxford Cancer Imaging Centre we use research and imaging science to improve cancer treatments for patients and we can quickly take research results out into cancer clinic. With the new award we will focus on using new methods to image the tumours and their surroundings to improve cancer therapy.
'Imaging is essential not only to precisely identify tumours, but also to categorize them – enabling personalisation of therapy, evaluation during therapy, and the modification of treatment.'
Cancer Research UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council are together distributing £35 million equally among four separate Cancer Imaging Centres across the country. The three other imaging centres are at the Institute of Cancer Research, London; a joint imaging centre between King's College London and University College London; and a new collaboration between the University of Cambridge and University of Manchester.
The £5.5 million Arthritis Research UK Centre for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis at the University of Oxford aims to understand more about the complex process of osteoarthritis in order to develop new therapies that slow down disease progression and reduce pain.
Osteoarthritis affects around eight million older people in the UK and is a major cause of disability. It occurs when the cartilage at the ends of bones wears away, leading to pain and stiffness. Treatment is limited to pain relief, exercise, weight loss, and ultimately joint replacement, but there is currently no effective drug treatment to prevent it developing or getting worse.
The new centre was launched earlier this month during National Arthritis Week, which ran from 7-13 October. The new centre was set up with £2.5 million from Arthritis Research UK, matched by £2.5 million from the University of Oxford, and £500,000 from the Kennedy Trust.