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UK Awards $57M to Four Cancer Imaging Research Centers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The UK government has awarded £35 million ($56.6 million) to fund four cancer imaging research centers that will engage in an array of imaging-focused research projects, including molecular and genomics studies. This funding round builds on an initial investment of £50 million awarded in 2008, Cancer Research UK said on Thursday.

The new funding from CRUK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council will support imaging research centers at the University of Oxford, the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and two joint centers, one involving King's College London and University College London and another a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and the University of Manchester.

Broadly, these centers harness imaging technologies to study how tumors grow, how cancer cells signal, and how tumors receive blood. They also are conducting research into the tumor microenvironment, and cancer-related molecular and genetic signatures.

The joint imaging center at Cambridge and Manchester combines translational research and clinical trials with imaging, genomics, and pre-clinical research. By linking together, these two institutions provide the imaging center with access to clinical trials infrastructure and large patient populations.

The King's College and University College center combines technology development with genomics expertise and clinical trials, and access to a simultaneous PET/MRI facility.

The ICR center in London is part of the largest cancer center in Europe, which is focused on developing personalized medicine treatments for each patient, and using new imaging techniques to identify an imaging fingerprint of the disease, with the goal of determining which tumors are most likely to progress.

The Oxford center seeks to integrate basic research in chemistry, physics, and cancer biology with imaging science to help find ways to guide cancer treatments