The University of Minnesota has been awarded a five-year $8.2 million grant from the The National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop a cell migration simulator that will predict how cancer cells move throughout the body.
The interdisciplinary research team will include biomedical engineers, cancer biologists, oncologists, and surgeons from the University of Minnesota, as well as other researchers from the Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic. The researchers will combine medical approaches and engineering to understand the chemistry and mechanics of how cancer cells are able to move through complex environments, leading to invasion and metastasis.
Understanding how cancer cells spread through the body is important in order for physicians to develop personalized therapies, particularly for patients with the most deadly types of cancer. Initially the simulator will be focused on brain tumors and pancreatic cancer, because, according to an article from UM, "The median survival is less than two years, with very few long-term survivors—and both cancers progress in large part due to cell migration." The principles will also potentially be able to be applied to many other types of cancer.
(Cancer cells. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)
“Our cell migration simulator could help us personalize cancer treatments based on live cell measurements obtained from a patient’s own tumor cells,” said David Odde, Ph.D., a Department of Biomedical Engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. “Just like there are different flight simulators used to ‘fly’ a Boeing 747, Cessna or Lear Jet, our simulator will categorize patients based on their individual cell mechanical parameters that allow their cancer cells to invade and metastasize.”
The new research grant will also support an “Engineering in Oncology Fellows” program. This program will help the University of Minnesota recruit new doctoral students to work in this emerging area of cancer research and train the next generation of cancer researchers.
The 20th Annual BioResearch Product Faire™ event at the University of Minnesota will be held on Thursday, May 4th, 2017. Life science professionals are invited to attend the annual on campus trade fair for free. Click the button below for additional information or to pre-register.
If you are a laboratory equipment supplier, this is an excellent opportunity to meet face to face with life science researchers at this well-funded research market and educate them about your lab or chemical supply products. Call us at 530-272-6675 or click on the link below to reserve a space and increase your scientific sales in 2017.