UCL Cancer Institute Research Trust
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- UCL Cancer Institute Research Trust seeks support for cutting edge technology
UCL Cancer Institute Research Trust seeks support for cutting edge technology
20 June 2013
image of circulating tumour cells in lung cancer
The UCL Cancer Institute Research Trust is fundraising to buy a new and vital piece of equipment which will allow researchers to gain a more accurate picture of an individual’s cancer, understand more about how a tumour changes over time, and therefore will improve the way cancer is treated.
It is clear, from work done by Professor Charles Swanton at the UCL Cancer Institute (published in the New England Journal of Medicine), that a single small biopsy taken from a cancer patient is not representative of their whole tumour. Furthermore, tumours continue to evolve and become resistant to therapy over time. Faced with these challenges, it is vital that regular samples of an individual’s cancer (biopsies) are taken in order to get a better picture of what is happening within the cancer itself in order to provide the best treatment.
Taking a biopsy from a patient helps clinicians understand the molecular profile of a cancer, but taking a biopsy is not without risk and can be difficult for patients, technically challenging and time consuming. Research has now demonstrated that cancer releases cells into the blood stream (circulating tumour cells or CTC’s). The presence of CTCs is itself prognostic, but more excitingly, with newly available technology, these circulating cells can be extracted from the blood and examined, providing molecular information about a patient’s cancer by taking a simple blood sample. Blood samples can also be repeated making this a quicker, and lower risk process.
The UCL Cancer Institute Research Trust is therefore looking to fund the equipment that makes this possible, the DepArray Platform. This equipment is considered one of the most innovative pieces of cancer research technology around and will benefit a number of scientists working on treatments for a number of cancer types within the UCL Cancer Institute. It will vastly expand the Institute's research capabilities and it will also be a major strategic investment as it will be made available to and used by other faculties and Research Institutions.
There is currently only one machine in the UK (at the Christie Hospital in Manchester), and providing another machine for its world recognised researchers will accelerate the research taking place at the UCL Cancer Institute.
If you are interested in fundraising for the DepArray Platform or would like to get involved, please contact Anna Roche, Head of Fundraising on 020 7679 6325
Page last modified on 13 mar 13 00:05