1. Activating the garbage disposal systems of leukemia cells

CLS imaging allowed University of Saskatchewan researchers to directly target a protein that was previously thought to be impossible to target. When activated, the protein induces cell death in leukemia, a huge breakthrough for treating the disease.

2. Detecting cancerous cells with gold...

gold protein complex

Peng Zhang, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Dalhousie, studies unusual self-assembling protein-gold clusters that also happen to glow under UV light. Not only could they be harnessed to tag cancerous cells in the body, these clusters could be used in environmental remediation efforts as well! 

3. ... and silver

nanogold Courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Zhang also uses the CLS to study nanosilver, which could be used to detect or kill cancer cells. Nanosilver also has exciting antibacterial properties, without leading to antibotic-resistance like standard drugs. 

4. Identifying breast cancer in its earliest stages

fibroblast XFI mapping

Researchers use our cutting-edge infrared imaging techniques to develop screening techniques and treatments for breast cancer at its earliest stages. 

5. Developping hyper-focused microbeam treatment for tumors

Microbeam radiation therapy delivers sub millimetre X-ray beams to tumour tissue, promising a precise and more effective cancer treatment than what is offered by traditional radiotherapy, surgery or chemotherapy.

Mitchell Duncan (pictured) is part of a research team that specializes in real-time radiation detectors for Microbeam Radiation Therapy, a promising cancer treatment technique using sub millimetre X-ray beams to target and treat otherwise untreatable tumours.

6. Looking at proteins that help fight cancer cells

Cancer crystallography - two proteins imaged at CLS

Researchers use the CLS to get detailed 3D images of all kinds proteins vital to fighting cancer.

The one on the left is called pembrolizumab, which works by helping the body’s immune system to help detect and fight tumor cells. The one on the right is an antibody that Hospital for Sick Children researchers are developping as a tumour inhibitor.

7. Tackling gut health and stomach cancer at once

gut bacteria

Did you know that the same bacteria that cause ulcers can lead to stomach cancer? Scientists from the University of British Columbia, the University of Washington, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle used the CLS to understand that bacteria's shape, which is a first step to developping new antibacterials for better gut health.

8. Harnessing molecular handededness

chirality in enzymes

McGill researchers have been investigating how some cancer-targetting molecules take on mirror-image orientations to each other, and binding with cancer targets in different orientations. This could be critical information for optimizing treatment compounds.

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