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New 'Glasgow cancer tests' could improve access to treatments

A University of Glasgow-led project aims to get more patients on clinical trials.

Cancer: New tests could help research of the disease.
Cancer: New tests could help research of the disease. © STV

A new range of cancer tests has been developed which scientists hope will help research of the disease and get more patients on clinical trials.

The Glasgow Cancer Tests are a suite of affordable solid tumour and blood cancer tests designed for use in routine healthcare around the world.

It would open up the latest treatments and trials to cancer patients and also help scientists discover what makes cancer resistant to chemotherapy drugs.

Professor Andrew Biankin is regius professor of surgery at the University of Glasgow and director of the Glasgow Precision Oncology Laboratory (GPOL), where the tests have been developed.

He said: "The Glasgow Cancer Tests were created so that ultimately every patient with cancer could have access to the latest treatments and clinical trials.

"Our team of inventors, including Susie Cooke, Philip Beer and David Chang, have dedicated the last five years of their lives to creating the Glasgow Cancer test.

"This test will enable patients around the world to access the best treatments for their cancer.

"I'm extremely proud of what the team have done and where this might take us for healthcare in the future."

'We want to make it much easier for patients to get on to clinical trials and for companies to run more trials and offer more trial options to patients. The Glasgow Cancer Tests can enable that.'
Dr Susie Cooke, University of Glasgow

The Glasgow Cancer Tests analyse genetic code from a sample of a patient's cancer to look for biological markers that could indicate which trial drugs would work and which would not - and how the cancer has developed in the first place.

They are currently being evaluated by NHS labs in England and Scotland while also being used in a University of Glasgow-led Precision-Panc clinical trials programme for patients with pancreatic cancer.

Dr Susie Cooke, head of medical genomics at GPOL, said: "The challenge has been to work out how to extract the maximum amount of information about a cancer sample from a small, affordable assay and a small amount of sample material.

"It's vital to have a test that provides what the patient and physician need in the real world, rather than one that has requirements that are unlikely to be met in day-to-day healthcare.

"The test also needs to cover the full range of information present in a cancer's DNA so that every option can be explored for every patient.

"We want to make it much easier for patients to get on to clinical trials and for companies to run more trials and offer more trial options to patients.

"The Glasgow Cancer Tests can enable that."

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