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BHF sponsored evening looking at how technology is allowing us to investigate cardiovascular disease in new and exciting ways.
Lost in clinical translation
Professor Damian Tyler (Associate Professor of Biomedical Science)
...Finding a new way to study the heart. The diseased heart is unable to properly break down the fuels we eat, like sugars and fats, to make the energy it needs to beat. Finding new treatments for heart disease is difficult because it is hard to study these changes in people without using imaging approaches that use radiation. We have recently developed a new technique, called Hyperpolarized Magnetic Resonance, which improves the sensitivity of traditional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) by up to 100,000-fold. This can be used to better image the heart's use of fuel and help diagnose disease.
Chemotherapy - a double edged sword
Dr Kerstin Timm (BHF Immediate Postdoctoral Research Fellow)
Chemotherapeutic drugs like doxorubicin are a vital currency in the fight against cancer. Unfortunately, just like any coin, they come with a flip side: in the case of doxorubicin this is severe cardiotoxicity, which can lead to heart failure in around 5% of patients. There is currently no clinical test to detect this heart damage early enough to intervene. But hope is on the horizon: a fascinating new technique, hyperpolarized magnetic resonance, can image cellular processes in the heart in real time and we have shown that the cell's power-engines (mitochondria) are central to cardiotoxicity.
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