How astronomy could help beat cancer

22 February 2013

Techniques originally developed to spot distant galaxies are being used by researchers to find new ways of analysing cancer tumours.

Teams at Cancer Research UK and Cambridge University have adapted a computer programme used for picking out indistinct objects in the night sky to assess the aggressiveness of breast tumours.

The new approach has led to an automated checking system for analysing tumour samples which could one day replace the traditional – and time-consuming - practice of pathologists looking down a microscope.

In the study, researchers used the computer system to identify biomarkers linked to more aggressive cancers across more than 2,000 tumour samples. The results suggested it was as effective as the manual approach, and faster.

Dr Raza Ali, who led the study, said: "The results have been even better than we'd hoped, with our new automated approach performing with accuracy comparable to the time-consuming task of scoring images manually, after only relatively minor adjustments to the formula."

Researchers now plan a larger international study involving samples from more than 20,000 cancer patients to try and develop the new system.

The research was published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:

or

Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.

or

Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Categories

Cancer

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)