New research centre for cancer DNA in the blood receives DKK 25 million
A blood test that measures cancer DNA in the blood is the pivotal point of a new national research centre which aims to pave the way for new diagnostic methods and for determining the correct treatment for cancer patients. The centre is receiving financial support from the Beat Cancer fundraising campaign.
Professor Claus Lindbjerg Andersen and Professor Lars Dyrskjøt Andersen, both from the Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University and the Department of Molecular Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, are heading the new centre which brings together a number of the leading researchers in Denmark in the field of measurement of cancer DNA in the blood.
“We know that cancer DNA in the blood is synonymous with a person having cancer somewhere in the body. Blood tests that can measure cancer DNA in the blood are regarded as one of the most promising methods for finding out who has cancer, but also for monitoring whether the cancer treatment is effective,” says Claus Lindbjerg Andersen.
He and his research colleagues in Aarhus are among the first in the world to demonstrate results with measurements of cancer DNA in the blood to find relapses in colorectal cancer.
Similarly, Lars Dyrskjøt Andersen’s team are among the first in the world to show results in their work on discovering relapses in cases of bladder cancer. These results will now be tested in large-scale clinical trials before the measurement of cancer DNA in the blood can be used on all patients with these forms of cancer.
“The perspective in measuring cancer DNA in the blood is being able to give the patient treatment that precisely fits the cancer in the individual patient, because we can test a blood sample based on the DNA in the patient’s cancer tumour. And we can do it faster than today," says Lars Dyrskjøt Andersen.
A centre without bricks and mortar
The new national research centre is a so-called 'non-brick-and-mortar’ centre that brings together all the researchers and professionals in Denmark who are involved in the area. More than sixty medical doctors and researchers from four universities and seventeen hospitals covering all of Denmark’s five regions are involved in the establishment of the centre. The DKK 25 million will be used to organise the systems and cooperation that will pave the way for research projects which can document how the measurement of cancer DNA can become part of the established cancer treatment.
The new national research centre has been selected to receive the grant from Beat Cancer 2019 by both a national and an international assessment committee.