Academics at Canterbury Christ Church University are carrying out pioneering research work into the early detection of lung cancer.
Staff at its Life Sciences Industry Liaison Lab are exploring the way the cells communicate with one another in order to identify those with potential for cancerous growth.
Their research primarily focuses on microscopic nanoparticles called exosomes.
Lab manager Dr Cornelia Wilson explained: ““Cells communicate like a biological email system, passing messages from one cell to another.
“The cancer cells release exosomes containing signals that promote cancer growth, which can travel throughout the body.
“Cancer exosomes could also cause other cells to become cancerous and promote tumour growth.
“The detection of cancer-derived exosomes in the blood provides a unique opportunity for developing biomarkers.
“These biomarkers help to identify and detect a tumour before it is clinically visible and for monitoring its progress.”
Christ Church is collaborating with the University of Liverpool and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation plus science firms Anton Paar of Austria and America’s HTG Molecular Diagnostics.