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New Research

GICI part funds another clinical trial!

"Circulating Tumour DNA as a Biomarker Pancreatic Cancer" 
Pancreas cancer is a devastating cancer with a very poor outlook. The only chance of cure is early diagnosis leading to early surgical resection. Unfortunately this is rare, because by the time of diagnosis, the cancer is usually not resectable. Therefore, we need a tool to diagnose this cancer earlier.

Cancers are caused by gene mutations in the DNA inside each cancer cell. We can detect the mutated DNA floating in normal blood. Because the normal DNA in blood has very few mutations, the presence of specific mutated DNA can signal the presence of a cancer.

This study aims to test whether this mutated DNA can be detected in the blood of patients with pancreas cancer. It may therefore become a useful diagnostic test. This might lead to being able to diagnose the cancer earlier while it is still resectable. This may increase cure rates.The Study:Professor Peter Gibbs is one of three investigators leading this translational clinical study coordinated from the Translational Oncology Group at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne. This is a collaborative project across several Australian sites. Auckland has been asked to join as the only New Zealand site. Participation in this study will build an excellent collaborative relationship between Auckland and Melbourne.Patients who are undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer (Stage 1 or 2) will have a blood test before and after surgery. This is the only requirement for patients. They will otherwise have standard workup and clinical follow up.The blood samples will be sent to Melbourne for analysis. DNA and RNA would be extracted from the blood, and searched for mutations. Presence or absence of mutations before and after surgery will then be compared to relapse and survival.Key researcher in Auckland is Dr Ben Lawrence of the Department of Oncology, Auckland Public Hospital.