A new state-of-the-art cancer clinical diagnostics facility is to be installed at the Royal Marsden NHS Trust. The liquid biopsy testing facility will be a hub for related research and has been agreed upon following a partnership with Guardant Health, a leading precision oncology company. Guardant Health’s role will facilitate a rapid development of the unit’s technology, so that cancers are detected, diagnosed and samples can be analysed genomically at a later stage.
The service will be housed in The Royal Marsden’s Centre for Molecular Pathology, which is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.
Liquid biopsies are minimally invasive tests that can detect tiny amounts of circulating tumour DNA or ctDNA shed by the cancer into the blood. Tissue and genetic profiles can be gained about solid tumours through the use of liquid biopsies.
The service is expected to be completed in 2022, and its reported that the NHS is considering further implementation of liquid biopsy approaches across the service in England.
Helmy Eltoukhy, Guardant Health co-CEO, added: “We are pleased to announce this partnership with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, which will enable clinicians to quickly and accurately detect relevant tumour alterations with a blood test to guide personalised treatment plans and provide researchers with diagnostic tools to support clinical research and innovation.