1. How will the technology use of Tomography (CT) Imaging help researches to deliver a precise radiation dose?
CT imaging allows the researcher to get an image of the internal anatomy of the mouse. This CT image coordinate system is co-registered with the robotics on the SARRP platform. Therefore a treatment Isocenter chosen in the CT will also be the Isocenter within the mouse. For tumours that can easily be seen on the CT so the user can select an Isocenter within the tumour. Delivering radiation using multiple beams and arcs around this Isocenter, results in a uniform dose in the tumour and spares surrounding tissue. For soft tissue targets the CT image can be used to co-register other imaging modalities such as BLI, PET and MR to identify the tumour location.
2. Radiation therapy is part of the treatment regime for majority of cancer patients worldwide – how will providing pre-clinical models reflecting a patients condition help in validating the efficiency of novel therapies and potential compounds that make tumor cells more sensitive to radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer?
By using cancer models, novel therapies can actually be tested on orthotropic tumour models. This allows researchers to mimic the actual treatment given to patients in the clinic. Orthotropic models are much more predictive of outcomes as you are actually treating these cancers in the specific organ. Therefore the pathways and repair mechanisms will be realistic.
3. Why is it significant to have relevant models which reflect the patient situation for each aspect of cancer progression, in order to seek alternatives to chemotherapy treatment?
Doctors and researchers are now looking at personalizing medicine. Therefore Understanding the genetics behind the treatment allows them to tailor the treatment to their particular patient. The significance of using these relevant models means researchers can evaluate the best treatment regime pre-clinically. This will lead to a much more personalized approach to the spectrum of treatment delivered to the patient. This will involve about 5,000 Patient Derived Xenograft (PDX) models. These models (each model representing an individual patient) have proven to be extremely predictive with regards to the effect and success of various therapies, or combination of therapies. These models will allow us to test many different combination of molecular and radiation therapies therefore greatly enhancing our knowledge of which therapeutic approach will work best for a given patient. This will then enable oncologists to devise the best therapeutic regimen for each patient, truly making “personalized” medicine a reality.
4. How will this contribute to the future of radiation protocols and concurrent therapies?
Current radiation protocols are based on a good foundation of science that has been carried out over many years. The use of cancer modules in combination with delivery of pinpoint radiation beams allows the researcher to mimic how treatment will be delivered in the clinic. Therefore they will be able to deliver clinically applicable doses and get a much deeper understanding of radiation response.
5. Why is pre-clinical models in radiation oncology, essential tools for cancer research and therapeutics?
A large majority (60-70%) of cancer patients will receive radiation as part of their treatment. It is therefore essential to understand how these cancers and other therapies can interact to get the best outcome for the patient. Cancer models allow radiation and molecular therapies to be tested concurrently, forming a good basis to advance cancer treatment and increase patient survival.
6. How can developing models that test radiation therapy, including in vitro as well as in vivo orthotopic xenograft models, help to develop more effective cancer therapies?
Developing in vitro xenograft and then orthotropic cancer models is a key part of building a good understanding of the efficacy of a therapy be it chemo, radiation of a combination.
Adrian Treverton holds a Physics degree and Master of Science from Imperial College London. He followed his MSc in optics to take a technical sales role in a major optical components company; from there he went onto selling more advanced optical systems throughout the world. In 2003 he was recruited by a radiotherapy company they had developed an optical system for external patient monitoring during treatment. Seeing a need for enhanced imaging, he then commercialized 3D ultrasound technology from Cambridge University, allowing the correlation of internal and external anatomy for radiotherapy planning. He joined Xstrahl in 2006 as Sales Director, leading the sales and marketing of their Orthovoltage x-ray therapy systems. In 2009 he was instrumental in commercialising the SARRP from Johns Hopkins University and then moved to the USA in 2011 to continue to expand their life science division.
Dr. Jean-Pierre Wery. Prior to joining CrownBio, Dr. Wery was Chief Scientific Officer at Monarch Life Sciences, a company dedicated to the discovery and development of protein biomarkers. Prior to joining Monarch, Dr. Wery spent three years at Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he was VP of Computational Drug Discovery. Before joining Vitae he worked for 12 years at Eli Lilly and Company in various scientific and management positions. Dr. Wery received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the U. of Liege, Belgium. Following his Ph.D., he did postdoctoral studies at Purdue University with Prof. Jack Johnson. Dr. Wery has authored more than 50 abstracts and publications.