Unexpected beauty of cancer research revealed in competition shortlist

These strikingly beautiful images are shortlisted in the UK Institute of Cancer Research’s Science and Medical Imaging Competition and show a wealth of techniques at work

Health 3 March 2021

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Dr Marta Fores Maresma

Institute of Cancer Research’s Science and Medical Imaging Competition: shortlisted images

THESE striking images show the intricate and unexpected beauty of cancer research. All were taken by people working at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, and the Royal Marsden Hospital, London. They are shortlisted for the ICR’s annual Science and Medical Imaging Competition.

Above is Marta Forés Maresma’s image of larval-stage tissue of a fruit fly, an organism used to study cancer and tumours. Fluorescent confocal microscopy was used to detect proteins in cells that glow red or green, a method that can help in studying cell interaction in cancer.

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Stella Man

Above is Stella Man’s image of a soft tissue sarcoma tumour spheroid – a ball of cancer cells.

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David Mansfield

David Mansfield’s entry, above, shows a protein-detecting technique to highlight cells – here, in a lymphoid structure that can occur in cancer. The method uses antibodies attached to molecules that either fluoresce or catalyse reactions that make colours.

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Sarah Ash

Above is an image by Sarah Ash of a breast cancer tumour in a mouse, using nearby connective tissue cells to help it spread.

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Sumana Shrestha

Above are flower-like structures captured by Sumana Shrestha. These are stem cells involved in brain formation, and they can be used to explore the origins of brain cancers. Her other submission (below) uses images of stem cells shaded in to create the shape of a head with a cancer surgical scar.

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Sumana Shrestha

You can vote for your favourite entry on the ICR website. Winners will be named in early March.

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