As part of the new £13 million Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research, scientists are “re-imagining ultrasound technology to develop a treatment that can liquefy cancer cells in the body using microscopic bubbles”.

A release from Cancer Research UK has announced the development of the new treatment that doesn’t require invasive surgery, in an investigation that brings together scientists from two of the UK’s foremost academic research institutions under the leadership of renowned cancer experts, Professor Paul Workman from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Professor the Lord Ara Darzi from Imperial College London.

The researchers are using novel methods that will enable teams at the Centre to work together in completely new ways, to speed up scientific discovery and innovation for people with cancer and create new treatments and technologies.

In one project at the Centre, a team of biologists, physicists, engineers and clinicians are exploring whether a specialised therapeutic version of ultrasound, called histotripsy, could be adapted to destroy pancreatic tumours located deep within the body.

Professor Paul Workman, chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and director of the Convergence Science Centre, said: “It’s fantastic to think that microbubbles could be used to blow cancer cells apart, and this is just one example of the exciting innovation we expect to see within the new Convergence Science Centre.

He continued to say that the “new Centre will be a coming together of world-class researchers in fields such as engineering, physics, chemistry and AI, collaborating closely with outstanding biologists and clinicians to create new solutions to the critical challenges we face in cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. It will open exciting new frontiers in cancer research and lead to innovative treatments, tests and technologies for patients.

“With Cancer Research UK’s support, we have brought together two world-leading research organisations with complementary areas of expertise, building a vibrant collaborative culture that will nurture a new generation of truly multidisciplinary cancer researchers.”

Today, two in four people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, three in four people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years.