Cambridge scientists have built a virtual reality (VR) 3D model of cancer that allows viewers to fly through tumour cells, observing every detail from different angles.
According to details, A real tumour sample, taken from a patient and mapped in 3D, can now be studied from any angle, and its individual cells explored.
However, Greg Hannon, director of Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK) has told BBC “No-one has examined the geography of a tumour in this level of detail before; it is a new way of looking at cancer.”
Within a virtual laboratory, Prof Hannon and I became avatars, whilst the cancer was represented by a multi-coloured mass of bubbles.
Although the human tissue sample was about the size of a pinhead, within the virtual laboratory it could be magnified to appear several metres across.
To explore the tumour in more detail, the VR system allowed us to fly through the cells.
The virtual tumour we were looking at through our headsets was taken from the lining of the breast milk ducts.
As Prof Hannon rotated the model, he pointed to a group of cells that were flying off from the main group: “Here you can see some tumour cells which have escaped from the duct.