Drug dosing technology to improve children’s cancer treatment


Imperial's London IVD Co-operative will support the translation of new precise drug dosing technology, ChromaDose, into the NHS healthcare system.

The UCL led ChromaDose project aims to aid more precise drug dosing in children with cancer. Children receiving chemotherapy treatment process the drugs differently, leading to inconsistencies in drug concentrations in the blood (known as drug exposure). Patients may not receive enough of the drug or in some cases may experience side effects following anthracycline treatment, predominantly in the form of dose-related cardiotoxicity. 

The multidisciplinary team of experts working on ChromaDose will develop a diagnostic drug monitoring tool to aid dose optimisation, enabling children receiving anthracycline chemotherapy – a type of the drug most commonly used to treat childhood lymphomas and leukaemias – to benefit from a personalised approach to treatment. 

Stakeholder satisfaction and user scenario analysis will aid the translation of the ChromaDose innovation into the NHS healthcare system. This work is supported by the NIHR funded, London In-Vitro Diagnostic Co-operative at Imperial College London. The expert team will map pathways for clinical integration alongside early-stage health economic analysis, ensuring patient benefit is delivered rapidly and cost-effectively. 

Speaking about the London IVD Co-operative's involvement, Dr Melody Ni, said: "We are delighted to work with the ChromaDose team, providing an innovative solution to an area with highly unmet needs. Our human factors led systems approach to evidence generation focuses on the real-world impact of an innovation, even as it is being designed and developed."

Overall project lead Dr Stefan Guldin (UCL Chemical Engineering), explained: “We have come a long way from the first experiments in the lab to this unique opportunity to bring our technology into the clinic. The team we have been able to assemble in ChromaDose makes me confident that we can achieve our ambitious goals.” 

Academics currently have the individual components which have shown promise when operated manually in a laboratory. They will now work to integrate these elements into an automated companion monitoring tool that will be able to provide reliable results within 30 minutes from insertion of the sample.  

The technology behind ChromaDose will enable clinicians to calculate the patient’s drug exposure. Nurses administering the chemotherapy drug would collect a few drops of blood at different times following administration. These samples are then inserted into the ChromaDose bedside device using an innovative cassette design.  

The machine automatically measures the amount of medicine within each blood drop and identifies the patient’s pharmacokinetic response, meaning the movement of drugs into and around the body, allowing ChromaDose to calculate the patient’s drug exposure. 

The ChromaDose project is funded by an NIHR i4i Product Development Award, which provides £980,000 for a nationwide multi-disciplinary team to conduct intensive research and development over 30 months. As project capstone, the team will seek regulatory approval from the notified body for widespread adoption. 

See the press release of this article



Benjie Coleman

Benjie Coleman
Department of Surgery & Cancer

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 0964
Email: b.coleman@imperial.ac.uk

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