Precision Diagnostics and Cancer Evolution

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Professor Nicholas Turner, Theme Lead for Precision Diagnostics and Cancer Evolution
Professor Nicholas Turner, Theme Lead for Precision Diagnostics and Cancer Evolution

Theme overview

Developing new biological tests to diagnose patients more precisely. We can use these tests to create more effective personalised treatments against cancer.

Precise information about a patient’s cancer is important for determining which treatment will:

  • Be the most effective for treating the person’s cancer.
  • Ensure fewer side effects and improved quality of life for each patient. 

We are developing diagnostic tools that look at cancer on an extremely small scale. We are using this to understand more about each person’s cancer, to help selecting the treatment most likely to benefit each patient.

Theme aims

We aim to:

  • Improve outcomes for patients with cancer through rapid diagnosis of disease and the use of liquid biopsies.
  • Identify which patients are cured after initial treatment through detection of minimal residual disease. This will optimise the selection of additional cancer treatment given to lower the risk that the cancer will come back. 
  • Develop the next generation of molecular diagnostics to enhance the selection of patients for treatment.
  • Develop the next generation of cancer models to guide therapy, advance understanding of cancer evolution and identify new drug targets.

Theme Lead

Professor Nicholas Turner (pictured above) is Professor of Molecular Oncology at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. He specialises in developing and testing new treatments for breast cancer.