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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/H024913/1
Title: Technology in Radiotherapy Feasibility Studies
Principal Investigator: Matuszewski, Professor BJ
Other Investigators:
Murphy, Dr M Burton, Professor DR Watkins, Professor C
Lilley, Dr F Frowd, Dr C Price, Dr GJ
Marchant, Dr T Moore, Professor CJ Shark, Professor LK
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Cergy Pontoise University Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg Preston Acute Hospitals Trust
Department: Sch of Comput Engin and Physical Sci
Organisation: University of Central Lancashire
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2009 Ends: 31 March 2011 Value (£): 201,041
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Cells Digital Signal Processing
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip. Medical science & disease
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
11 Sep 2009 Cross-Disciplinary Feasibility Account Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The context of the research:Approximately one in three people will develop cancer at some point in their lives. Technical improvements in diagnosis and treatment have significantly contributed to improved survival in recent years: the 5 year rate is now 50% and the 10 year rate has doubled in the last 30 years. It is in this context that our research group operates, particularly with reference to radiotherapy, which treats 40% of patients.Each proposing institute has an established track record of delivering innovative research, both individually and as a consortium. Indeed, we jointly created the Engineering & Computational Science for Oncology Network (ECSON), with the aim of establishing a basis for free exchange of cross-disciplinary expertise and knowledge to expedite technical solutions to problems in cancer therapy. Funded by the EPSRC Collaborating for success through people programme, ECSON is a formidable hub composed of 24 leading academic, research, commercial and clinical institutions from 6 European countries.Whilst the majority of physics/engineering activity in oncology is focused on delivering translational research that will be beneficial to patients in the short-term, this feasibility account presents an opportunity to explore some of the riskier ideas, with the potential to engender significant changes in long-term knowledge and treatment, that have emerged from the rich breeding ground of ECSON.The aims and objectives:The proposed research has the potential to open unexplored avenues of investigation of particular relevance to radiotherapy. However the tools and techniques we hope to create may provide the means for other investigators to conduct studies that could well be tangential to our aims.There are 4 themes to our proposal, drawing on different strengths of the proposing institutes:-We aim to investigate the bio-mechanical properties of healthy and cancerous cells when subjected to radiation exposure. We think this could provide evidence implicating the cellular structure as a whole in their response to radiation, as opposed to just the nuclear DNA.-We will investigate subtle structure in 3D/4D (i.e. moving 3D) medical images that we think clinicians may sub-consciously refer to when looking at images. This is particularly relevant to modern image guided radiotherapy where image quality is poor in comparison with diagnostic data.-We will model the complex cytoskeletal structure in cells. We believe this structure is implicit in a cell's mechanical strength, so understanding its structure fully will enable scientific, evidence-based analysis of its contribution. Also we will investigate how it varies in cancerous cells and cells exposed to radiation.-We will measure the 3D movement and articulation of head and neck radiotherapy patients' faces. We hope that we will be able to identify early predictors of treatment complications that can result in loss of facial function.Potential applications and benefits:Each of these themes constitutes an exciting, high-risk, but potentially very rewarding avenue of investigation. If realised, our research aims could, in the medium to long term, bring about very significant benefits in the radiotherapy process. We think they could lead to the introduction of new procedures, improvement in existing treatment methods, or even the dawn of a completely new ways of understanding the manner in which radiation interacts with healthy and diseased cells - i.e. the way in which radiotherapy works! Beyond radiation therapy, we hope that any tools we might develop, or discoveries we might make, during the proposed research could open up a number of new topics for academia. In this respect we are well placed, as the cross-disciplinary nature of the ECSON network provides the means to rapidly communicate findings outside our traditional subject areas. We believe that this work could provide immense gains across all medical fields.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Summary
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Organisation Website: http://www.uclan.ac.uk