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"Virtual tumor" new way to see cancer



  Avatar and VR tumor

Caption

An avatar of a scientist researching a 3D tumor in a virtual reality lab

Cambridge scientists have developed a VR-3D model for cancer that provides a new perspective on the disease.

The tumor sample taken from a patient can be examined in detail and from all perspectives, with each individual cell being assigned.

Researchers say it will improve our understanding of cancer and help find new treatments.

The project is part of an international research program.

How It Was Made

  • The researchers begin with a 1
    mm piece of breast cancer tissue that contains about 100,000 cells.
  • Wafer-thin slices are cut, scanned and then stained with markers to show their molecular make-up DNA properties
  • The tumor is rebuilt using virtual reality
  • The 3D tumor can be visualized in a virtual Reality laboratory to be analyzed.

The VR system allows multiple users from all over the world to study the tumor.

Prof Greg Hannon, director of the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK), told the BBC, "No one has studied the geography of a tumor at this level of detail before, this is a new perspective on cancer."

The Virtual Tumor Project is part of the CRUK Grand Challenge Awards.

In a "virtual" laboratory, Prof. Hannon and I became avatars, while the cancer was represented by a multi-colored bladder mass. Although the human tissue sample was about the size of a pinhead, but virtually laboratory it could be enlarged to appear a few feet in diameter.

To study the tumor more closely, the VR system enabled us to "fly through" the cells.

The virtual tumor we observed through our headsets was taken from the lining of the breast milk channels. [19659020] Caption

A group of circled cells has detached from the main mass of the mass

When Professor Hannon turned the model, he pointed to a group of cells that flew away from the main group: "Here are some tumor cells that have escaped from the aisle.

" This could be the point through the investigation of the tumor in 3D, the cancer can spread to surrounding tissues – and became really dangerous. "

Prof. Karen Vousden, Chief Scientist at CRUK, runs a lab at the Francis Crick Institute in London to study how certain genes help protect us from cancer, and what happens when they go awry.

She told the BBC: "Understanding how cancer cells interact with each other and with healthy tissue is critical to the development of new therapies. In tumors using this new system, this system is much more dynamic than that static 2D versions that we're used to. "

Follow Fergus on Twitter.


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