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Circulating tumour DNA in hastening the diagnosis of lung cancer

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Annie Wong
Dr Kirsty Danielson
Dr Sandra Fitzgerald
Professor Cristin Print
Dr Laird Cameron
Mrs Shonell Nicholls
Health issue:
Cancer (oncology)
Proposal type:
Health Delivery Emerging Researcher First Grant
Lay summary
Lung cancer is New Zealand’s top cancer research priority as it is the leading cause of cancer-related death and disproportionately disadvantages Māori and Pacific people. We aim to improve the diagnostic process of lung cancer by replacing invasive biopsies with a blood-based test of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA). This study plans to prove the effectiveness of a customised blood test on patients with lung cancer with known gene mutations. Development of ctDNA technology will directly benefit patients by reducing diagnostic times from months to days and identifying patients who will benefit from life-saving targeted treatment. Establishing ctDNA research collaborations nationally and internationally will benefit lung cancer outcomes as well as other cancers such as colon, breast cancer and melanoma.