Molecular imaging using the nuclear medicine imaging techniques of single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) allows the visualisation and quantification of biological processes in tumour tissue in living organisms. The main advantage of these non-invasive techniques is that they can be performed repeatedly in the same subject, and that the same imaging methods are used in the clinic, which makes them easier to translate from the laboratory to patients in the clinic. Because of their exceptional selectivity and sensitivity, we are mostly interested in the use of antibodies, proteins and peptides, labelled with radionuclides, to target very specific aspects of tumour biology.
Usually, molecular imaging targets are extracellular epitopes: cytokines, growth factors, or extracellular receptors. However, there is a mismatch between molecular imaging methods, which mostly target proteins or receptors on the outside of cancer cells, and cancer biology, where mostly intracellular events are studied. Therefore, one aim of the group is to develop novel methods to enable imaging of intracellular proteins, such as those involved in DNA damage repair signalling.
Furthermore, increased awareness and the rolling out of screening programmes have had a significant impact on cancer survival, especially breast cancer. The earlier a cancer is detected, the better the chances for survival are. Another aim of the group is therefore to develop methods that would allow early detection of tumour tissue.
We are evaluating the novel imaging agent developed in the group in models of breast and pancreatic cancer.
22 July 2020
Understanding the molecular subtype of a cancer is becoming an importance part of the diagnostic process as it helps a doctor better understand a patient’s prognosis, determine the best course of action for treatment and helps researchers devise new, more-efficient, precision therapies.
3 July 2020
UK Research and Innovation, Cancer Research UK and industry are investing more than £11 million in an Oxford-led artificial intelligence (AI) research programme to improve the diagnosis of lung cancer and other thoracic diseases.
Clinical researchers at Oxford University announce new collaboration with Janssen to detect blood cancers sooner
8 August 2019
The new 7-year research collaboration with Janssen Research & Development, LLC (Janssen) will study patients at higher risk of developing certain types of blood cancers that arise from the immune system, such as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and multiple myeloma, to identify markers that could be used to predict who will go on to develop symptomatic disease.
7 February 2019
GenesisCare and the University of Oxford establish innovative 10-year research partnership to improve diagnosis and care for people with cancer.
Characterising an insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signature for early detection/risk reduction of cancer
30 November 2018
Researchers in the Department of Oncology have secured funding to characterise an insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signature for early detection and risk reduction of cancer.