STFC CANCER DIAGNOSIS NETWORK+ CDN+ NEWS NEWS E-BULLETIN FOR NETWORK MEMBERS, ACADEMICS, STUDENTS, INDUSTRIAL AND NETWORK PARTNERS
STFC CANCER DIAGNOSIS NETWORK+ Let's meet in person... Over the last three years, we have built a strong committed and determined community. Our aim over the next few months is to keep the momentum going! We plan to do this in two main ways; continuing to support and promote opportuities for ECR's, and comms and events to engage our members network! In this edition we share details of our first in person post COVID workshop, taking place on Mon 28th Nov, in London, focusing on 'Theranostics'. We can't wait to to see everyone, hear from our amazing speakers and create lots of networking opportunities. We also have updates from some of our funded Proof of Concept and Scoping Study projects, all of which are coming to an end soon. We have had some fantastic outputs to date and are also proud that we have supported so many Early Career Researchers reflected in our latest 'Travel Award' update article! Prof Laura Harkenss-Brennan Principal Investigator & STFC Champion Get in touch: Connect with us via our [email protected] website & Twitter for all the latest Become a STFC CDN+ member: news, Subscribe www.stfccancerdiagnosis.org @STFC_CDN
STFC CANCER DIAGNOSIS NETWORK+ CSCSDTDTFNFNCC++ STFC CDN+ Theranostics Workshop 28th November 2022 Ultra-high dose rate: Transforming Radiotherapy in a FLASH? 9th Dec 2022 STFC Quantum technologies for fundamental physics engagement event 2nd & 3rd Feb 2023 IOP Physics of Life 27th-30th March 2023, Harrogate, UK
STFCCANCERDIAGNOSIS.ORG CSCSDTDTFNFNCC++THERANOLSOTINCDSOWNORKSHOP MONDAY 28TH NOVEMBER 2022 WOBURN HOUSE, LONDON REGISTER HERE We are so excited to finally meet everyone at our first in person workshop in over two years! It promises to be a great event with engaging talks, ECR poster session with prizes and networking opportunities!
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Funding Opportunities EPSRC Future IOP - Bell Burnell Leaders Fellowships: Graduate Scholarship round 7 Fund This scheme is for early career The Bell Burnell Graduate researchers and innovators Scholarship Fund is for full- or who are either: part-time graduates wishing to study towards a doctorate in looking to establish or physics and from groups that transition to independence are currently under- developing their own represented in physics original and ambitious plans within a commercial students must be from an setting. under-represented group in We are offering funding to physics. support ambitious research or the Fund will only support innovation programmes studies in a physics across UKRI’s remit. department, school or You must be based at, and faculty that has either a Juno have the support of, an eligible and/or Athena SWAN award. academic or non-academic each host institution. university/institution can submit two applications Closing date: 6 December 2022 4:00pm UK Closing date: 20 January 2023
CRUK Multidisciplinary project award The aim of these awards is to generate creative research ideas and explore their applicability in cancer research. With a primary focus on multidisciplinary research, the research themes within remit for this award include: The direct application of physics, engineering, chemical or mathematical concepts to address the underlying physical processes of cancer. The development of new transformational approaches or the translation of technologies to prevenn, diagnose or treat cancer. Closing date: 10 January 2023 L’Oréal-UNESCO UK and Ireland for women in science rising talent awards This scheme is for early career researchers and innovators supporting postdoctoral research for women in any area of the life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics and computing, engineering or sustainable development. Five awards, worth £15,000 each over one year, are available. Closing date: 20 January 2023 Get in touch if you would like to advertise an opportunity!
Travel, investment in yourself CDN+ Travel Awards are aimed at supporting Early Career Researchers to develop their skills and experience further. This year we ran two successful travel fund calls for the IOP Mayneord Summer Programme and the IEEE Science Symposium.
The Mayneord-Phillips Educational Programme (MPEP), is an annual 3-day Summer School run by the Institute of Physics, the British Institute of Radiology, and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine. It is a forum for early-career professionals to explore new developments in medical physics, enhance subject-knowledge and form long-term networks. The topic this year focused on 'Advances in Solid State Detectors for Early Diagnosis'. STFC CDN+ launched a funding call in June, and we were thrilled to support nine successful applicants. We have since received lots of positve feedack about the event. 'I enjoyed attending the 'The discussion of the emerging summer school at Oxford technologies not only expanded my view of University and gained current detector technologies but also much knowledge. I have introduced me to various career met the leaders of science from around the globe and opportunities within this research field that I had the honor to speak am keen to pursue in my future. I am very with them and discuss hot grateful for all the personal connections I topics in the same field'. made and the information I learnt will Sarah Alsharif, Queen greatly help my PhD thesis'. Mary University London Dawid Hampel, University of Birmingham
We are proud to have sponsored ten Early Career Researchers who attended the '2022 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference and Room Temperature Semiconductor Detector Conference' (IEEE NSS-MIC-RTSD). This year it was hosted in the Milano Convention Centre, Milan, Italy, from 5th November to 12th November. The IEEE NSS-MIC-RTSD is a unique meeting in the field of radiation detectors and instrumentation, with a broad range of applications, fields of study and experiences of the attendees and presenters – academics, engineers, medical physicists, and physicians. The synergy created by the joining of the NSS, MIC and RTSD offers a networking potential to boost scientific creativity, to exchange ideas, share and create knowledge in the radiation detector and electronics technology, nuclear science, medical imaging, environmental monitoring and space exploration fields.
IEEE STFC CDN+ sponsored ECR's: 'I am delighted to participate Andrew Farnworth, Loughborough in this year’s IEEE conference. University Dawid Hampel, University of Birmingham Thank you STFC CDN Ellis Rintoul, University of Liverpool for giving me the opportunity Marc Grando Gonzalez, University of Birmingham to come to my first Maria Laura Perez Lara, University conference as a PhD student!', College London Max Bishop, STFC Rutherford Appleton Maria Laura Perez Lara, Laboratory University College London Olie Pickford Scienti, The Institute of Cancer Research Rhian Mair Wheater, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Richard Gray, University of Glasgow Yangfan Jiang, Loughborough University
Project Updates A snapshot of developments being made in some of our CDN+ funded projects currently ongoing... Prof Bogdan Matuszewski - University of Central Lancs (UCLan) Proof of Concept Project: 'Machine Learning System for Decision Support and Computational Automation of Early Cancer Detection and Categorisation in Colonoscopy (AIdDeCo)' Aim: The key expected output of the project is a set of software tools aimed at improving polyp detectability and therefore ultimately leading to a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. The developed software is to be tested and evaluated by clinical endoscopists, preparing the ground for future clinical studies validating the methodology in a hospital environment. Outputs: E. Sanderson, B. Matuszewski, (2022). FCN- Transformer Feature Fusion for Polyp Segmentation, Proceedings of the Medical Image Understanding and Analysis (MIUA) Conference, Cambridge, July 2022, LNCS vol. 13413, Springer.
Development of a multipurpose deep processing backbone for applications in endoscopy. Development of a public AIdDeCo code repository. Research and development of the methods and software for depth estimation from monocular camera. Creation of an open GitHub repository and release of code implementing the method reported in the “FCN- Transformer Feature Fusion for Polyp Segmentation” . The software provides state-of-the-art results, (the highest segmentation rank when using the mean- Dice metric) on a paper/software ranking website. Winning the 1st first place for the “Depth prediction in simulated colonoscopy” task of the “SimCol-to-3D 2022 – 3D Reconstruction” sub- challenge hosted at the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI 2022) conference in Singapore. Grant application submission (as Co-I) “Digital technologies for healthcare through innovation and knowledge sharing in biomedicine and bioengineering” to the Digital Health Hub UKRI call.
Project Updates Dr Dimitra Darambara - Institute of Cancer Research Proof of Concept Project: 'Comparing the feasibility of emission and attenuation spectral x-ray imaging for detecting elemental composition changes associated with breast cancer diagnosis' Aim: HEXITECMHZ is an innovative new detector technology developed by the STFC that delivers spectroscopic imaging of high energy X-rays (> 10 keV) at medically relevant fluxes (106 photons s-1 mm-2). The properties of the detector system are potentially ideal for detecting these small composition changes in cancerous cells. Over the course of the project scientists in the STFC Detector Development Group and the Multimodality Molecular Imaging Team of the Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust will work together to demonstrate the feasibility of using spectroscopic X- ray imaging techniques to differentiate between healthy and cancerous breast tissues as part of an STFC Cancer Diagnosis Network+ (CDN+) project. The first aim of this project is to develop a simulated model of the HEXITECMHZ detector developed by the Detector Development Group at RAL. In the second half of the project, this simulation will be used in conjunction with a digital breast phantom, designed based on a literature review, to determine whether the superior spectral resolution of the HEXITECMHZ detector will allow differences in trace element composition associated with breast cancer onset to be detected.
Outputs: Pic 1 - PI, Dimitra Darambara, ICR The noise profile data from a HEXITEC Pic 2 - Co-I, Matthew Veale, STFC system has been provided by RAL to ICR-RMH for testing the noise feature of the simulation. Tests of the noise modelling function are underway using existing data. RAL has completed their weighting potential simulations and are waiting to compare their results with those previously provided by the ICR/RMH. HEXITECMHZ detector data has been collected in both slow and fast modes now and the chip appears fully functional. ICR/RMH have provided RAL with a list of elements that can be used to generate x-ray fluorescence data for validating the simulation framework. Digital phantoms replicating breast tissues with and without the changes in trace elements have been designed and coded. A poster presentation at 2022 IEEE NSS/MIC/RTSD conference in Milan. HEXITECMHZ data has been obtained. Several energy spectra have now been obtained using gamma sources. Stand-alone CoGI modules have been written. Pic 3 - Co-I, Matt Wilson, STFC
Project Updates Prof Lin Wang - STFC Central Laser Facility Proof of Concept Project: 'Low-cost, rapid super- resolution microscopy with ultraviolet surface excitation for quantitative cancer histopathology' Aim: We will develop a prototype SR-MUSE system capable of imaging millimetre-scale tissue samples with sub-cellular resolution within a few seconds. We will rigorously evaluate the resolution of SR-MUSE system using both artificial and real biological samples. We will demonstrate the super-resolution imaging feasibility and capability of the system using tissue specimens from mouse brain, kidney and liver. The information obtained from SR-MUSE imaging will enable quantitative identification and mapping of key morphological and functional cellular and sub-cellular features contributing to cancer diagnosis. Outputs: MUSE system design was completed; (Figure 1) Equipment for microscopy development procured MUSE system was up and running; Data handling protocol was up and running; ESRRF, a newer and better version of SRRF algorithm, wad deployed; SR-MUSE imaging of fluorescent beads was implemented; SR-MUSE imaging of fixed Mouse liver tissue sections was implemented.
Pic 4 - CO-I, Sara Wells, STFC Pic 5 - PI, Lin Wang , STFC Figure 1. Photo of our bench-top MUSE system.
Dr Phil Carvil is the STFC Cluster Development Manager - UK Research and Innovation. With a background in sceince, Phil tells us a little bit about his role and how he took the leap from aerospace physiology research to leading on the key strategic sector of cluster developments... Research background I was fascinated on how the A scientist by background, I broader research and undertook my PhD for the European Space Agency at innovation landscape worked, King’s College London, conducting numerous studies what does the start-up-scale up on a SkinSuit which was designed to provide axial journey look like and how do we loading to support astronauts in space and reduce the risk of fund research in the UK to spinal issues post flight. This has subsequently been used on tackle grand challenges. So several ESA astronaut missions. Upon completion I undertook when the role came up to further research in this field while having the pleasure to work in a develop High-Tec h innovation strategic analyst role for King’s Health Partners exposing me to regional clusters I jumped at it broader health system. It was this exposure and my research and have been leading on the interests which led me to join the research council, UKRI-STFC in development of several key 2018. strategic sector cluster developments in the UK ever since, which has allowed me the opportunity to meet so many incredible people doing amazing things, including the team behind the STFC Cancer Diagnostic Network.
Biggest achievements to date \"I have learned so I have been exceptionally much beyond my fortunate in my career to work science background with some incredible people. from marketing and events to board At a local community level I am currently the 2022 elected leadership\" President of JCI Manchester - JCI is a global, not-for-profit At a European Level, I currently organisation with a mission to serve as the elected President provide development for the European Low Gravity opportunities that empower Research Association (ELGRA), young people to create positive which among other activities, change. In Manchester, JCI has has with ESA co-created and been putting on community, supported the running of a training and social activities for gravity related research young professionals for over 74 summer school for university years, including organising the students across Europe and annual Manchester Young Talent immensely rewarding initiative. Awards – which I cannot wait to On a personal level, I was host this year – I have learned so ecstatic to complete the much beyond my science London Marathon this year for background from marketing and North West Cancer Research. events to board leadership. At a National Level, for 5 years I was the elected coordinator of the UK’s Space Life and Biomedical Science Association, among core activities hosting an annual showcase science symposium which has since led to the launch of the Position Paper ‘Why Space? The opportunity for Health & Life Science Innovation” in 2021.
My Role in STFC \"I have been exceptionally The clusters exist to connect fortunate in my key capabilities between career to work stakeholders, national science facilities and innovators in the with some wider ecosystem to support incredible people\" collaboration, cross-sector innovation and community For more info on STFC building. I started with the Development Clusters: Health and Life Sciences sector. [email protected] And we found that the integration of stakeholders was missing. Since launching in 2019 we have seen new collaborations form, companies growing and coming to the region and a raised profile of the region. This is the power of clusters. To date I have had the pleasure of leading the set up and development of North West of England’s Health and Life sciences Cluster (HealthTech), hosted by the Sci-Tech Daresbury Campus. I have been the interim lead for the Space and HealthTech Clusters hosted at the Harwell Campus, Oxford. And led on project development and set up of the North West England Space Cluster. Now I'm just about to kick off the scoping for the North West’s Materials Clusters.
The EU-project CHAIMELEON develops an open source imaging data repository for AI experimentation in cancer management The CHAIMELEON project will develop a database of patients with the most prevalent cancers in Europe: lung, breast, prostate and colorectal. This EU-wide interoperable repository will make health images and related clinical and molecular data available to the artificial intelligence community. By providing a repository that will be used as a common infrastructure that complies with all ethical and safety regulations of the countries involved, CHAIMELEON will greatly facilitate the development and validation of AI tools for improved cancer management. The interdisciplinary CHAIMELEON consortium is made up of 18 partners from 10 countries. It constitutes a pan-European ecosystem of knowledge, infrastructures, biobanks and technologies on oncology, AI/in-silico and cloud computing addressed to health. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement No 952172 More information: http://chaimeleon.eu/
Access the paper here: Molecular radiotherapy treatment is dependent on a stable supply of radionuclides. https://www.bartscancer.london/wp- The supply of radionuclides into the UK has content/uploads/2022/10/Radionuclides-for-Health-UK- been impacted by a combination of factors, including decommissioning of nuclear reactors, FINAL.pdf trade barriers and international conflict. Some radionuclides are so new and innovative that supply chains do not currently exist. Poor access to radionuclides has implications not just for research and development but for more conventional diagnostics and therapies. As health security comes to the fore as a policy issue, we believe that the time is right for the UK to invest in radionuclide production and associated infrastructure to overcome these challenges and place the UK’s life sciences sector in a world-leading position in beating cancer. A white paper has been developed that sets out the big challenges for UK science and what is needed to address the immediate obstacles to become a science superpower in the future.
Advanced radiotherapy safely treats prostate cancer patients in a quarter of the time of current standard An advanced radiotherapy technique can be used to safely treat prostate cancer patients in as little as one to two weeks, compared with the current standard, which takes one to two months. Findings from the PACE-B trial, led by researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, show that, after a two-year follow-up, serious side effects were very rare when using the new technique – with only around 5 per cent of people experiencing moderate bowel and bladder side effects (ICR, Nov 2022) Research has found variable voltages in the membranes of breast cancer cells, revealing clues about how they grow and spread. A new study shows that as well as the membrane voltage being higher than in healthy cells, it also fluctuates over time – with breast cancer cells behaving much like neurons. It is believed this could indicate an electrical communications network between cancer cells that could in future be a target for disruption, creating possible new treatments. Though more research is needed, the researchers suspect the ‘blinking’ and ‘waving’ electrical signals might be a form of communication between cells. (Imperial College London, Nov 2022) Physicists are using their research undertaken at the CERN facility in a major project aimed at developing next-generation, low-cost radiotherapy for cancer. The Ion Therapy Research Facility (ITRF) has been established with a £2m investment from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to kick-start research. New technologies being developed as part of the LhARA project will mean that more types of ions can be provided with greater control reducing costs, LhARA will help make this treatment available to more patients. (Swansea University, Oct 2022)
SUBMIT YOUR NEWS Get in touch if there are any relevant events, conferences, meeting and workshops you would like to include in our next newsletter. STFC showcase Do you have technology you think could benefit cancer diagnosis? Submit a short paragraph (images optional) or a link to a recent publication and we will advertise this to the network in our next newsletter. Cancer diagnosis challenge spotlight Do you know of a particular challenge in cancer diagnosis that needs more attention? Submit a short paragraph (images optional) or a link to a recent publication and we will share this with our network of STFC researchers. Collaboration matcher Last year we launched our 'CDN+ Collaboration Matcher'. We are particularly interested in matching up CDN+ members with our partners who have STFC capabilities, to ensure that the skills and expertise on offer are being fully accessed. Get in touch for more info! Any items for inclusion in the next edition of CDN News should be sent to: [email protected]
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STFC CANCER DIAGNOSIS NETWORK+ CDN+ NEWS NEWS E-BULLETIN FOR NETWORK MEMBERS, ACADEMICS, STUDENTS, INDUSTRIAL AND NETWORK PARTNERS