The aim of the iPaCT project is to address the unmet clinical need for an improved therapy of pancreatic cancer by developing a new integrated technology platform for image-guided therapy. Yearly, 280.000 new cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed worldwide. Being usually diagnosed late stage and without any efficient therapy available, basically all patients die with an average life expectancy of only a few months after diagnosis, leading to an overall low prevalence in society. Therefore, pancreatic cancer is a rare disease with an urgent need for a new and improved therapeutic option.
A potential breakthrough solution for the treatment of pancreatic cancer can be found in thermal therapies using high intensity ultrasound (HIFU) combined with local, temperature-triggered drug delivery. We propose a novel US-MR-HIFU system that integrates HIFU with imaging modalities, i.e. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and diagnostic Ultrasound (US) for image guidance of thermal ablation (T=60 degrees Celsius) and/or hyperthermia (T=42-43 degrees Celsius) of pancreatic tumours. For image-guided drug delivery, new temperature-sensitive nanocarriers will be developed that provide a high local dose of chemotherapeutic drug. Multimodal (molecular) imaging information, simultaneously acquired using yhe US-MR-HIFU platform, provides motion compensated temperature feedback as well as visualization of perfusion and drug uptake in the target tissue allowing personalized therapy.
The consortium, including two innovative SMEs (Imasonic, Neagen), two hospitals (Klinikum der Universität München and University Medical Center Utrecht), Eindhoven University of Technology and Philips (a medical device company), represents the total chain from technology development, preclinical testing to clinical translation guaranteeing a clear route for later clinical use nd a route to market for SMEs partners, leveraging the competencies and strengths of a leading global healthcare company.