A range of tests developed in Scotland could help cancer research and see more patients accepted onto clinical trials.
The Glasgow Cancer Tests are a new suite of tests created at Glasgow Precision Oncology Laboratory (GPOL).
The affordable solid tumour and blood cancer tests are designed to be used in routine healthcare, such as within the NHS, around the world.
They could open up the latest treatments to cancer patients.
And they could also help scientists discover what makes cancer resistant to chemotherapy drugs.
Andrew Biankin, regius professor of surgery at the University of Glasgow and director of (GPOL), said: “The Glasgow Cancer Tests were created so that ultimately every patient with cancer could have access to the latest treatments and clinical trials.
“Our team of inventors, including Susie Cooke, Philip Beer and David Chang, have dedicated the last five years of their lives to creating the Glasgow Cancer test.”
He continued: “This test will enable patients around the world to access the best treatments for their cancer.”
The tests analyse genetic code from a sample of a patient’s cancer to look for biological markers that could indicate which trial drugs would work and which would not – and how the cancer has developed in the first place.
They are currently being evaluated by NHS labs in England and Scotland while also being used in a University of Glasgow-led Precision-Panc clinical trials programme for patients with pancreatic cancer.
Dr Susie Cooke, head of medical genomics at GPOL, said: “The challenge has been to work out how to extract the maximum amount of information about a cancer sample from a small, affordable assay and a small amount of sample material.
“It’s vital to have a test that provides what the patient and physician need in the real world, rather than one that has requirements that are unlikely to be met in day-to-day healthcare.
“The test also needs to cover the full range of information present in a cancer’s DNA so that every option can be explored for every patient.
“We want to make it much easier for patients to get on to clinical trials and for companies to run more trials and offer more trial options to patients.
“The Glasgow Cancer Tests can enable that.”