The Institute of Cancer Research and SCIEX Target the Spread of Disease Revealed through Mass Spectrometry Imaging
Collaboration to improve and standardize methods for studying cancer metastasis with MALDI-TOF/TOF technology
February 16, 2011
A key research area for The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) is investigating the spread of cancer in the human body in an effort to identify new and effective treatment strategies. To help advance this research, the ICR is collaborating with scientists at SCIEX, a global leader in life science analytical technologies, to standardize advanced methods of mass spectrometry-based tissue imaging. ICR researchers are using SCIEX mass spectrometry technology to better understand this spread of disease, known as metastasis, which is responsible for approximately 90 percent of cancer patient deaths.
The biomedical research community continues to face the complex challenge of developing strategies to address the progression of cancer. One of the ways in which the ICR is contributing to efforts to address this challenge is by studying communication between cells associated with the spread of cancer, revealing molecules involved in metastasis that can be targeted with new drugs.
The ICR's collaboration with scientists at SCIEX enhances this research project by applying the latest advancements in high-resolution, tissue imaging technology to investigate how aspects of the tumor micro-environment drive the spread of cancer. The cancer researchers are using mass spectrometry to conduct non-targeted discovery, looking at specific regions of the tumor, investigating proteins that are present in these regions and how they enhance metastatic progression.
The technology being used is the SCIEX TOF/TOF 5800 System, a MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight technology) system, which works by desorbing molecules directly from complex biological tissue samples and identifying the individual protein components by their molecular weight. This SCIEX system is the fastest, most sensitive MALDI-based mass spectrometer, enabling scientists to achieve in less than a day what takes more than weeks on other MALDI-based systems.
Janine Erler, Team Leader, The Institute of Cancer Research
"One of our major goals at The Institute of Cancer Research is to contribute to the development of new anti-cancer treatments. This collaboration with SCIEX on mass spectrometry-based imaging will help us discover new molecules that are critical to cancer spread."
Dave Hicks, Vice President and General Manager of the Pharmaceutical and Proteomics Business, SCIEX
"We are committed to continue helping researchers of cancer and other diseases apply the power of mass spectrometry to uncover new information that could lead to major breakthroughs and new developments in drugs. Our broad range of technologies allows scientists to choose what is most appropriate for their research. With Dr Erler's team at The Institute of Cancer Research, we were able to meet their need for advanced imaging technology that is contributing to the success of their important research."
SCIEX is a global leader in the development of life science analytical technologies that help answer complex scientific challenges. The company provides scientific instrumentation, software and services used to discover new drugs, advance medical science and protect the food supply and the environment. SCIEX technology solutions combine the highest performance with the highest reliability to enable our customers to fuel scientific discovery, deliver results with confidence and improve the quality of life. The company has a more than 20-year history of innovation and market leadership as the former Applied Biosystems/MDS Analytical Technologies joint venture. Follow SCIEX on Twitter @ABSCIEX and on Facebook and LinkedIn
The ICR is Europe's leading cancer research centre
The ICR has been ranked the UK's top academic research centre, based on the results of the Higher Education Funding Council's Research Assessment Exercise
The ICR works closely with partner The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust to ensure patients immediately benefit from new research. Together the two organisations form the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Europe
The ICR has charitable status and relies on voluntary income, spending 90 pence in every pound of total income directly on research
As a college of the University of London, the ICR also provides postgraduate higher education of international distinction
Over its 100-year history, the ICR's achievements include identifying the potential link between smoking and lung cancer which was subsequently confirmed, discovering that DNA damage is the basic cause of cancer and isolating more cancer-related genes than any other organisation in the world