Finding and treating cancer at an early stage can save lives. Tumors diagnosed at an early stage, when they are not too large and have not spread, have better chances to be treated successfully. Once cancer spreads, effective treatment becomes more challenging, and patient’s chances of surviving are much lower.
The core concept of the SENSITIVE proposal is the development of an endoscopic imaging modality that will allow fast and accurate in vivo biopsy without the need of labels and would be a huge step forward towards early cancer diagnosis and prevention.
Future medicine aims at a combination of molecular data with family history, environmental factors and life style to stratify individuals based on their probability to develop disease. This will allow high-risk groups to undergo regular testing so that disease is prevented or “caught” at an early stage while it is still curable.
In the case of cancer, long before tumor manifestation, molecular changes within epithelial cells and surrounding stroma cause subtle changes in the microarchitecture of cells and in the whole tissue. These changes are considered hallmarks of field cancerization. They are invisible to conventional microscopy but can be assessed with the use of advanced specialized optics. The proposed imaging modality that will rely on visualizing subtle molecular and structural changes within tissues and thus allow visualization of early stage disease in a label-free, minimally invasive manner.
This way disease management will rely on intervention before tumors reach an advanced life-threatening stage.
Impressum: Τhe photos/images in the header of the homepage were taken by Markus Seeger.