Sarah Cannon Research Institute, the Nashville-based cancer arm of HCA International, and UCL-Advanced Diagnostic (part of the UCL Cancer Institute), will team to develop a genetic profiling laboratory in London.
The London-based laboratory introduces new techniques that allow doctors to discover the gene alterations which drive cancer and to deliver these as diagnostic tests. This will allow doctors to better decide what treatment is most appropriate. This approach, called ‘precision or personalised medicine’, is of particular interest in difficult cases where standard therapies are not working or not defined.
The laboratory introduces a new method, developed by UCL scientists, for the detection of mutations in a large number of genes in a single test. The test also uses the same samples as existing pathology tests rather than requiring fresh tissue. These innovations combine to make genetic profiling considerably cheaper and more practical to carry out by health services than other techniques developed to date.
The team at Sarah Cannon Research Institute are among those launching clinical trials for a promising new treatment that targets cells that start cancer tumors. The product is being developed by California-based OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, which is partnering with GlaxoSmithKline.