Aside from traditional ways, doctors have a new weapon in the fight against cancer, via this detailed maps of the cells in a tumor.
It can be explored and analyzed in a virtual reality simulation that its creators say provides researchers with an intuitive new way to examine complex medical data that could lead to unexpected breakthroughs.
The invention was Built by doctors at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK), the new virtual lab takes detailed scans of breast cancer tissues and turns them into detailed simulations that doctors around the world can explore, the BBC reports.
The simulation lets doctors analyze every single cell of a tumor, something they’ve never been able to do before.
Also, because that data is stored in a simulation rather than microscope slides, doctors around the world can explore and study the cancer without having to prepare their own samples.
“Understanding how cancer cells interact with each other and with healthy tissue is critical if we are going to develop new therapies,” CRUK Chief Scientist Karen Vousden told the BBC. “Looking at tumors using this new system is so much more dynamic than the static 2D versions we are used to.”
Last year, The Cambridge scientists and peers from around the world who helped develop the virtual lab won two separate 20 million pound grants ($25.3 million each) to build up their project from Cancer Research UK.
As of writing, they have a functional simulation built up from highly-detailed scans of a cubic millimeter-sized sample of breast cancer tissue.
In that sample, each of the roughly 100,000 cells was marked to highlight its molecular and genetic characteristics.
The remarkable invention is a huge help if ever it will be a successful one, as cancer, any types, is one of the reason why people die everyday.