There are many researchers in Cambridge and beyond working in all aspects of early detection research and we are proud to say that our highly multidisciplinary Programme is engaged with many of them. The four groups highlighted below are those that have been established by our Programme, fully devoted to early detection and based in the Hutchison Research Centre.
Jamie Blundell’s lab works on understanding how mutant clones arise, expand and compete in our tissues as we age. Focusing predominantly on blood, we use novel genetic lineage tracking tools and deep sequencing of longitudinal samples to identify mutant clones which are under strong positive selection. Such clones are implicated in early cancer and thus are candidates for improved cancer detection.
Harveer Dev’s lab explores mechanisms of genome instability in early stage prostate cancer, in order to improve the detection and treatment of patients with lethal disease. We use high-throughput genetic screening approaches and surgically-derived early disease models to explore DNA damage response pathways in prostate cancer. This allows us to identify critical genetic drivers, and hence biomarkers, of disease progression and therapeutic responsiveness, providing opportunities to deliver personalised therapies to patients.
Using genetic and epigenetic alterations found in early prostate cancer Charlie Massie's uro-oncology early detection lab will create assays for sensitive detection and quantification of cell-free tumour DNA and develop molecular prognostic scores to help stratify early stage prostate tumours. More accurate risk stratification will spare men with indolent disease from the risks of unnecessary over treatment, and allow more targeted interventions in men with high-risk disease. Click here for the latest updates on ctDNA and liquid biopsy.