Study reveals new liquid biopsy test could benefit thousands of lung cancer patients

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The third most common and serious form of cancer affects over 43,000 people every year in the UK

In partnership between The Royal Marsden and Guardant Health, researchers have developed a new liquid biopsy test to benefit thousands of lung cancer patients.

The state-of-the-art circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) test, Marsden360, is set to speed up and personalise treatment for this patient population.

Currently the third most common and serious type of cancer, lung cancer affects more than 43,000 people every year in the UK.

CtDNA tests are minimally invasive tests that detect tiny amounts of ctDNA shed by the cancer into the blood to identify key genetic mutations in a patient’s cancer.

As part of the partnership, Guardant Health ensures that researchers at The Royal Marsden have access to powerful technology based on vast data sets and advanced analytics.

Analysed at The Royal Marsden’s liquid biopsy testing facility, the Marsden360 testing facility has the capacity to test 5,000 patients with stage 3 and 4 solid tumour cancers from across England annually, with plans for expansion to beyond 10,000 over the next two years.

As part of the North Thames Genomic Medicine Service, the Marsden360 liquid biopsy service is available for private and clinical trial patients being treated at The Royal Marsden, as well as patients with suspected late-stage lung cancer who are eligible for testing on the NHS, as part of its NHS England study in ctDNA testing in non-small cell lung cancer.

The test has already benefitted over 2,000 patients with suspected lung cancer and NHS England is now rolling out the test to a further 10,000 patients this year to speed up treatment decisions.

Professor Sanjay Popat, consultant medical oncologist, Royal Marsden, commented: “Our Marsden360 service… allows us to significantly increase our capacity for research using ctDNA testing, improving treatment options for patients across the UK.”

Helmy Eltoukhy, Guardant Health chairman and co-chief executive officer, said: “The new national pilot… offers the exciting opportunity for this new technology to be integrated into routine lung cancer care so that patients get the benefits of an earlier diagnosis and treatment.”

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