Advanced Bladder cancer LAser Diagnostics and thErapy

The Aim of the Ablade project

The advanced bladder cancer laser diagnostics and therapy project is to advance the development of an integrated laser diagnostic and therapeutic technique for the use in detecting and treating bladder cancer.


  • University of Dundee
  • 2M Netherlands BV
  • Scientific Production Enterprise “Lazma” Limited.

The Project

This IAPP project aims to advance the development of an integrated laser diagnostic and therapeutic technique for the use in detecting and treating bladder cancer. The aim will be to transfer knowledge and expertise from the University of Dundee Medical School and the Photonics and Nanoscience Group to two industrial partners who have specific expertise in laser based medical diagnostics and system development to share in the research project.

The main objective is to generate validation data of a newly discovered and major shift in laser absorption at a peak in the infrared region in response to healthy and cancerous cells, understanding the mechanisms for this shift and using the knowledge to develop a new diagnostic tool which will be focussed on bladder cancer and have potential widespread application for early diagnosis of other types of cancer.

The project will also seek to demonstrate the efficacy of a novel photonics based therapy based on the photonic stimulation of triplet oxygen at a cellular level which can specifically initiate cell apoptosis in tumour cells. The project includes the necessary transfer of knowledge and expertise, including access to leading research facilities, through a series of secondments of Early Stage Researchers and Experienced Researchers, complemented by the recruitment of Experienced Researchers to provide further inter-disciplinary expertise and resource while benefiting from the strong industrial and academic links initiated through the project.


The ABLADE project stems from the innovative idea to transfer the technologies of multi-functional lasers to the endoluminal approach for managing the diagnosis and treatment of urinary bladder cancers, thus improving early diagnosis and accuracy over the current white light based endoscopic approach and transurethral resection using electrodiathermy.
This transfer of knowledge is enabled by the incorporation of new laser sources with different wavelengths into a compact system designed specifically to address some of the unmet clinical needs identified by a large systematic review with meta analysis and cost-effectiveness study.
The ultimate goal of ABLADE is to dramatically enhance the advantages of traditional flexible endoscopic inspection of the urinary bladder by integrating new multifunctional laser diagnostic and phototherapy technologies to realise a system suitable for outpatients or day case based diagnosis and treatment of the urinary bladder.

Methodology and Approach

The research methodology is logically organised to begin with development and optimisation of advanced compact semiconductor laser sources and their diagnostic and therapeutic performance in in-vivo studies using both primary and non primary cultured cancer and healthy cells. The following step will be to validate the performance of the laser systems in animal models, for which murine models with implanted cancer tissues will be used. In parallel, research into the configuration of clinical devices with the necessary electronics, algorithms and clinical interfaces will be performed.
Finally, integration and prototyping work combined with exploitation planning including clinical trials and identification of regulatory issues.

Transfer of Knowledge

The research and development project proposed cannot be carried out by any of the partners independently; there is a clear need for collaboration and transfer of knowledge to achieve the anticipated outcomes of the project.
A total of 132 Fellow Months of secondments from within existing resources will be mobilised to serve the needs of the collaborative research programme and strategic knowledge transfer and development of the partners.
36 person months of secondments will be senior staff and experienced researchers from the UNIVDUN, 2M and LAZMA demonstrating the high level of commitment to the project and willingness to learn, address challenges and explore new ideas together. There will be a further secondment between 2M, LAZMA and UNIVDUN of Early stage Researchers (technicians, research student and company scientists) who will be seconded in both directions for a combined total of 96 person months. This will form a key project element embedding the knowledge gained in their home organisations for the long term benefit of the companies and the university.

Impact of Outreach Activities

The outreach activities will serve to heighten public awareness of the project and particularly encourage young people to consider research careers in this interdisciplinary area of research. The website and public relations activity will make available to interested clinicians (particularly urologists and oncologists), patients and patient groups the aims and progress of the project. It will also increase awareness of the usefulness of the FP7 funding for important state-of- the-art research and attractiveness of the Marie Curie Programme for research careers.

Seventh Framework Programme

Grant Agreement No: 324370
Project Start Date: 10/04/2013
Project Duration: 48 months