The division includes the prestigious Cancer Research UK Cancer Imaging Centre, and overlaps with the Joint Department of Physics, which spans The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
Researchers in the division are developing methods to more accurately image tumours, making improvements to treatment planning, and implementing and assessing techniques to precisely target beams of radiation. Projects are using 3D imaging and robotics, and include quality assurance to ensure the safety of new techniques in a clinical setting. The division has long-standing clinical imaging research programmes in computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), together with major projects in ultrasound, nuclear medicine, X-ray detectors and imaging applied to radiotherapy and focused ultrasound therapy. The ICR’s leading role in the development of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) has helped to change the way that radiotherapy is provided in the UK and worldwide.
Researchers in the division are also interested in developing ways of increasing the effectiveness of radiotherapy by combining it with other treatments – including targeted drugs or viral therapies. A major research focus is the development of multimodality imaging for evaluating response to treatment in vivo. Novel imaging techniques can provide non-invasive assessments of various facets of tumour biology such as tumour angiogenesis, cell proliferation and hypoxia.
The joint appointments of faculty in this division and the divisions of Cancer Biology, Cancer Therapeutics or Clinical Studies ensure scientific and technical developments are rapidly taken through to testing in the clinic.