Imaging and advanced guidance for workflow optimization in interventional oncology


Every year, over 2.5 million people in the EU alone are diagnosed with cancer, and cases are rising. The good news is that advances in treatments mean that survival rates are improving dramatically. Nevertheless, cancer remains a leading cause of death. Furthermore, while many current treatments are effective at killing off cancer cells, they also cause a lot of harm to healthy cells, tissues and organs, resulting in a range of serious side effects for patients.

The IMAGIO project focuses on an approach called interventional oncology (IO) which targets cancer cells more precisely, thereby sparing healthy cells from the toxic effects of many treatments.

In IO, miniaturised instruments (including biopsy needles, electrodes or catheters) are inserted into the patient’s body via minimally invasive access routes. The miniaturised instruments are guided to the tumour with the help of imaging techniques such as x-rays, ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Once there, the treatment can be applied directly and precisely to the tumour.

IO can be used to deliver diverse types of cancer treatments, including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. The IO approach offers multiple benefits for patients. In the case of IO surgery, damage to, and scarring of, healthy tissues is dramatically reduced and there is a much lower risk of infection and bleeding. For IO radiotherapy, because the treatment is applied directly to the tumour, radiation damage to surrounding healthy tissues is much reduced. This means a higher radiation dose can be used, resulting in a faster response to treatment. Similarly, for chemotherapy, the precise delivery of the treatment means that higher doses can be used because healthy tissues will not be exposed to the treatment. Finally, IO immunotherapy results in a strong immune response in both the primary tumour and any metastases.

IO approaches allow patients to recover faster while also cutting the cost of treatment.

IMAGIO will focus on three cancers: lung and liver cancer and soft tissue sarcomas. Lung and liver cancers are among the leading causes of cancer death. Soft tissue sarcomas are rare in older adults but are a major cause of death among those aged 14 to 29.

The project brings together representatives of the medical technology and pharmaceutical sectors as well as leading academic and clinical sectors. Together, they will explore and demonstrate how next generation IO imaging techniques can be applied to cancer research and treatment, from laboratory studies to clinical trials.


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Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups
  • Academisch Ziekenhuis Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands
  • Eberhard Karls Universitaet Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany
  • Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule Zuerich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Fondazione Irccs Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori, Milano, Italy
  • Klinikum Der Universitaet Zu Koeln, Cologne, Germany
  • Siop Europe, Brussels, Belgium
  • Stichting Radboud Universitair Medisch Centrum, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  • Stichting Vu, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Technische Universiteit Delft, Delft, Netherlands
  • The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Nhs Foundation Trust, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, United Kingdom
  • Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Universiteit Maastricht, Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Universiteit Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
  • Varsinais-Suomen Sairaanhoitopiirin Kuntayhtyma, Turku, Finland
Patient organisations
  • European Cancer Patient Coalition, Brussels, Belgium
  • Nederlandse Leverpatienten Vereniging, Hoogland, Netherlands
  • Stichting Longkanker Nederland, Utrecht, Netherlands
Third parties
  • Janssen Cilag Limited, High Wycombe, United Kingdom
  • Johnson & Johnson Enterprise Innovation Inc, New Brunswick, United States
IHI industry partners
  • Flash Pathology B V, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Gremse-It GMBH, Aachen, Germany
  • Imaginab, Inc, Inglewood Ca, United States
  • Janssen Pharmaceutica Nv, Beerse, Belgium
  • Luxium Solutions, Courbevoie, France
  • Nanovi A/S, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark
  • Pfizer Inc, New York City, United States
  • Philips GMBH, Hamburg, Germany
  • Philips Medical Systems Nederland BV, Best, Netherlands
  • Philips Medical Systems Technologies LTD, Haifa, Israel
  • Profound Medical GMBH, Hamburg, Germany
  • Profound Medical Oy, Vantaa, Finland
  • Thermosome GMBH, Planegg, Germany

NameEU funding in €
Academisch Ziekenhuis Leiden1 385 000
Eberhard Karls Universitaet Tuebingen511 500
European Cancer Patient Coalition267 875
Flash Pathology B V150 000
Fondazione Irccs Istituto Nazionale Dei Tumori100 000
Gremse-It GMBH467 500
Klinikum Der Universitaet Zu Koeln3 589 630
Luxium Solutions463 000
Nanovi A/S85 625
Nederlandse Leverpatienten Vereniging87 644
Philips GMBH1 074 040
Philips Medical Systems Nederland BV5 668 325
Philips Medical Systems Technologies LTD200 000
Profound Medical GMBH222 097
Profound Medical Oy1 033 198
Siop Europe71 900
Stichting Longkanker Nederland28 240
Stichting Radboud Universitair Medisch Centrum3 049 106
Stichting Vu150 000
Technische Universiteit Delft1 185 863
Thermosome GMBH1 308 195
Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht1 284 225
Universiteit Maastricht1 331 250
Universiteit Twente417 875
Varsinais-Suomen Sairaanhoitopiirin Kuntayhtyma175 000
Total Cost24 307 088