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East Genomics

Circulating Tumour DNA (ctDNA)

Lead: NHS North Thames GMS Alliance

Cancerous cells and tumours leak DNA into the bloodstream as the tumour grows. It is possible to look for these fragments of DNA as a way to determine if a tumour is present and so confirm a diagnosis.

This project aims to provide evidence, including the health economics, for the expansion of ctDNA testing in the NHS to support early diagnosis of cancer, diagnosis of cancer for patients who currently cannot have a tumour biopsy or do not yet have a confirmed diagnosis​.

This will be achieved setting a pilot using samples from patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLG) but do not have a confirmed diagnosis from across the NHS GMS. This activity will be monitored for quality, turnaround times, the scope of testing, onward management of patients and the impact it has on speed of diagnosis and treatment.

This form of testing could lead to much earlier diagnosis of cancer leading to faster and more effective treatment. This could save the lives of patients living with cancer.