New Tumour Profiling Unit signals push for personalised cancer treatment
Tuesday 29 January 2013
A new Tumour Profiling Unit at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, will accelerate the development of personalised cancer treatments and their delivery to patients.
The Institute of Cancer Research is raising £3.2 million to establish the new centre, which will bring the genome sequencing revolution to cancer patients. The funds will bring expert scientists to the centre, and provide for new specialist equipment and refurbished labs.
The Tumour Profiling Unit will seek to change the way in which clinicians diagnose and monitor cancer, enabling doctors to develop treatment programmes that are tailored to the specific DNA mutations driving a cancer, at that particular point in time.
It will also have a major effect on the process of discovering and developing new cancer drugs.
Announcing the centre, Professor Alan Ashworth, Chief Executive of the ICR, said: “The idea of developing old-fashioned chemotherapies is going out of the window.
"Genome profiling opens up the possibility of using drugs in a context in which they were not originally developed. None of this is science fiction. It’s happening in a number of places around the world but we feel it will be absolutely routine within the next five to 10 years for every cancer patient."
The initiative is made possible by great advances in DNA sequencing technology over the past decade. While the first complete human genome sequence cost tens of millions of pounds — and several years — to produce, today cancer genomes can be sequenced in days at a cost measured in the hundreds of pounds.
- Information on how you or your organisation can support the development of the Tumour Profiling Unit can be found on our fundraising pages.