The Center for Engineered Cancer Test Beds (CECT) seeks to design a cancer test bed at the interface of biology and engineering with controlled properties using a synergistic application of in silico design with advanced experimental measurement of biological response.
Specifically, this center proposes to develop novel, lifelike biomimetic environments through use of 3D scaffolds that will:
- Enable transformative study of cancer biology, specifically the metastasis to bone, significantly mimicking in vivo human subjects.
- Develop a humanoid testing of novel anticancer drugs and drug delivery systems as a transformational improvement to relying entirely on animal testing of drugs and thus leading to significant reduction in time and costs of laboratory to clinical studies.
The overall success of the center activities will result in a paradigm shift in cancer studies and reduce time and costs of new drugs and new delivery systems to be available to populations.
According to National Cancer Institute, in 2018, an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States and 609,640 people will die from the disease. The large cost of the cancer burden (estimated to be about $125 B by 2020) can be effectively reduced to enable healthy populations.
While early detection and new therapies are increasing the survival rates of cancer patients, cancer that has metastasized (spread to other sites of the body away from site of origin) is more difficult treat and has a lower rate of survival. When cancer metastasizes to bone, it is incurable and terminal. Drug treatments are often ineffective at this stage. Prostate and breast cancers have the highest incidence of bone metastases according to a study in 2012 estimating the prevalence of bone metastases.
The Center for Engineered Cancer Test Beds has been named an NDSU Grand Challenge Initiative, which focuses NDSU’s research expertise and resources on solving some of the world’s most complex problems.
The center includes some of NDSU’s top researchers. Scientists from the College of Engineering, College of Health Professions, College of Science and Mathematics, College of Business and the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will develop ways to build the test beds, manufacture drug delivery systems, market the innovations and gauge reactions of patients and the medical community.