Genotyping of solid tumours in Gliomas

Genotyping of solid tumours in Gliomas


Investigation into the utility of non-invasive liquid biopsy as an alternative cancer testing strategy for diagnostic genotyping of solid tumours in Gliomas
Official Title: Investigation into the utility of non-invasive liquid biopsy as an alternative cancer testing strategy for diagnostic genotyping of solid tumours in gliomas
Lead Researcher: Victoria Hewitt, DipRCPath
Where: Yorkshire and North East Genomic Laboratory Hub, Leeds
When: 2020 - 2021
Cost: £10,000
Research Type: Adult & Paediatric, developing new non-invasive testing tools, Glioma

The aim of the research is to develop liquid biopsy testing as a non-invasive tool to revolutionise genotyping in brain tumours (Glioma), offering financial savings, a new diagnostic and prognostic tool within the NHS and providing invaluable knowledge for clinicians to support and influence patient treatment pathways.

What is it?

Currently, testing for glioma patients involves invasive brain surgery to excise a small piece of tumour. DNA is extracted and prepared for genotyping in the genomic lab. This is tested for small genetic changes within the patient's DNA and the results influence their treatment pathway.

This genotyping work has become gold standard and has significantly helped to advance knowledge. As the field of cancer genomics progresses more genetic targets are being identified. However, to collect more material to develop this, more invasive procedures are required.

This means there is a need for new methods and testing strategies that are not as invasive.

This research looks at using blood as a source for potential diagnostic genotyping of brain tumours. Not only will this have huge cost savings within the NHS but more importantly, it will be non-invasive and involve little trauma or recovery time for a patient.



What's the science?

Blood contains cell free DNA (cfDNA). We know that serum and plasma from cancer patients contains higher levels of cfDNA than healthy patients. It also contains tumour specific genetic alterations that are called "circulating free tumour DNA (ctDNA)".

In the first phase, this project investigates ctDNA from blood samples to explore a range of methodologies and instruments for brain tumour (Glioma) genotyping.
In simple terms: it will look at how we get what we need.

In the second phase, the project will investigate the optimisation of ctDNA extraction from blood and design a specific Glioma panel.
Again, in simple terms: it will look at developing how we get what we need as sensitively and robustly as possible.

In the future the project will lead to exploring the most accurate non-invasive testing to fully develop a new diagnostic and prognostic tool.

This is a really exciting area of development and YBTC are delighted to be supporting this work with a grant to cover the lab costs for Victoria.


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