Glasgow Precision Oncology Laboratory is leading the way in Precision Medicine for cancer

"We know that tumours and cancers change over time, and change with treatment. We want to understand this better so that we can pick the right treatment for the right patient at the right time."

Professor Andrew Biankin, Director of Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre, University of Glasgow

25th April 2019

BBC News: Cancer test treats patients with precision

With funding from the Scottish Genomes Partnership, scientists at the University of Glasgow's Precision Oncology Laboratory (GPOL) have developed a new way to report on all the genomic aspects of a patient's tumour in a single test.

GPOL is a cutting edge sequencing and bioinformatics facility based at the University of Glasgow. The laboratory has been set up specifically to support clinical trials with the aim of transforming the way we develop new treatments for cancer.

The GPOL team, led by Dr Susie Cooke, has taken the knowledge gained from more than a decade of looking cancer genome profiles and distilled them into a single test which can report on all the elements that we know can drive cancer development. By sequencing only the regions of the genome that are potentially relevant to a patient's cancer, they can quickly identify potential treatment options.

Professor Andrew Biankin, Director of GPOL, Wolfson Wohl Cancer Research Centre and co-PI for the Scottish Genomes Partnership, said,

"We know that tumours and cancers change over time, and change with treatment. We want to understand this better so that we can pick the right treatment for the right patient at the right time. We know that many treatments for cancer don't work and we don't want to give a treatment if it's not going to work."

The GPOL test will make it easier to incorporate DNA testing into clinical trials, so that pharmaceutical companies can increase the number of trials where treatments are focused on the patients most likely to benefit from them.

This new test will now be released under an evaluation licence with NHS clinics in Scotland and England, to allow NHS laboratories to test it in a real life service setting.

© 2019 Scottish Genomes Partnership

Scottish Genomes Partnership gratefully acknowledges the funding received from the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates and the Medical Research Council Whole Genome Sequencing for Health and Wealth Initiative.