Epigenetic enrichment of circulating tumour DNA to enable deep profiling for cancer early detection (EpiEnrich)

Principal Investigator: Team EpiEnrich led by Dr Charlie Massie, CRUK Cambridge Centre Early Detection Programme

Funded by: CRUK Early Detection Innovation Award (through sensor technology for liquid biopsy sandpit)

A team of 6 PIs from 6 institutions across the UK: Charlie Massie (Cambridge), Paul Millner (Leeds), Francesco Crea (Open University), Tingting Zhu (Oxford), Nick Leslie (Heriot Watt), Pedro Estrela (Bath) are working on the project Epigenetic enrichment of circulating tumour DNA to enable deep profiling for cancer early detection (EpiEnrich). Cell-free tumour DNA (ctDNA) analysis is a highly specific method for non-invasive cancer detection and molecular stratification, but a major challenge for early detection is finding rare events in the context of high background non-tumour DNA. The team aims to deliver a step-change by epigenetic enrichment of ctDNA directly from plasma samples. They will establish new workflows and test the impact of this approach on ctDNA detection rates in early cancers.