Royal Marsden partnership to create state-of-the-art in-house liquid biopsy testing facility
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust will establish a state-of-the-art liquid biopsy testing facility for cancer clinical diagnostics and research following a partnership with Guardant Health, a leading precision oncology company.
Some Royal Marsden patients, including, Judith Skepper (86, from London) have already benefitted from liquid biopsy testing. Judith was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in March 2020 and was referred to the hospital for specialist treatment. A liquid biopsy detected that Judith has a MET mutation which meant she could be treated with tepotinib, a targeted treatment. She said:
“I did not even notice I had an additional test as to me it was just a straight-forward blood test. Compared with a traditional biopsy, it was much more comfortable and less invasive. My cancer has now progressed, and I am no longer on this targeted treatment. However, I consider myself lucky to have had 18 good months on tepotinib, which allowed me to avoid standard chemotherapy and enjoy spending time with my family of three children and 10 grand-children.”
Professor Michael Hubank, Director of Clinical Genomics (Research) at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Professor of Translational Genomics at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:
“We are delighted to announce this partnership with Guardant Health, establishing a state-of-the-art liquid biopsy testing facility. In a clinical diagnostic setting, it will provide many of our patients with more rapid access to bespoke diagnostic testing, leading to earlier, faster, and more accurate diagnosis, along with targeted treatment selection and monitoring.
“The opening of this service will also allow us to significantly increase our capacity for research using liquid biopsies. Bringing expanded capacity for genomic testing, the facility will help us identify more people with cancer for clinical trials based on targeted treatments, improving outcomes for patients across the UK and beyond.”
Helmy Eltoukhy, Guardant Health Co-CEO, said:
“We are pleased to announce this partnership with The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, which will enable clinicians to quickly and accurately detect relevant tumor alterations with a blood test to guide personalised treatment plans and provide researchers with diagnostic tools to support clinical research and innovation.
“This partnership further advances our goal of ensuring all patients with cancer have access to the latest innovations to inform their treatment management to enable the best possible outcomes.”