Physics of cancer

Addressing heterogenous responses to drugs therapies and radiation-tissue interactions

Cancer is the second most common cause of death globally. Much is understood about the differences between the tumour cells and those that make up healthy tissue. However, living systems are complex, and the impact of the various treatments and how complex systems of cells evolve with time are not understood well. Our ambition is to contribute to the study of the physics of cancer by exploiting and enhancing technologies that we have developed to study the constituents of matter. Part of the work is carried out in collaboration with the `Centre for the Clinical Application of Particles', which is a multi-disciplinary collaboration of personnel from the Imperial Department of Physics, the Imperial Faculty of Medicine, the Imperial Academic Health Science Centre, the Imperial CRUK Cancer Centre, the Institute of Cancer Research, the John Adams Institute and the Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology. Some of our aims are:

  • Develop novel, compact, laser-driven accelerator systems for clinical applications
  • Deliver the capability to assess the biological and therapeutic efficacy of different ion species
  • Develop improved diagnostic, dose-measurement, imaging, treatment-planning, data-processing, and machine-learning techniques


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