Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

Imaging in LifeLines (part 1)

Lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are prevalent in the general population and are expected to cause most deaths by 2050. For this so-called BIG-3, early treatment has been shown to delay or stop progression, and allow therapy at a treatable stage in many patients.

A newly developed computed tomography (CT) scan technique can evaluate quantitative imaging biomarkers of early stages of the Big-3 at ultra-low radiation dose. Imaging biomarkers, combined with clinical and laboratory biomarkers and medical decision support systems, can in the future open up new avenues for effective prevention and/or early diagnostic and treatment protocols. The well-characterised, population-based LifeLines cohort will be used to assess reference values of early-imaging biomarkers of the BIG-3 (Imaging in LifeLines: ImaLife study). 

The Imalife study aims to assess reference values of lung density, bronchial wall thickness, vascular calcification and lung nodules by quantitative low-dose CT in the general population aged 45 years and above. Secondarily, it aims to assess the prevalence of early lung cancer, COPD, and CVD, and the relation of quantitative imaging biomarkers of the Big-3 with clinical and laboratory markers. The ImaLife study provides an invaluable resource for the development and validation of biomarker profiles in the context of personalised medicine.

Image: CT image of heart showing calcifications in the left coronary artery