GPOL vision: to accelerate scientific discoveries into patient care for cancer, with a particular focus on genotype guided (personalised) cancer care.
Our work is aimed at developing approaches to apply and test personalised medicine strategies based on genomic sequencing data. Potentially rapid gains can be made through matching genetic aberrations with sensitivity to therapy by a specific drug, and then testing efficacy when used in the presence of the target for which the drug was made.
Next generation sequencing technologies make it possible to undertake genetic testing of tumour DNA across many genes and pathways, whether or not there are known candidate aberrations. The goal is to identify those patients who harbour specific mutations that render their tumour potentially sensitive to a particular drug.
Genotype-guided therapy is becoming a reality in cancers such as breast and colorectal cancer where the treatment choice is based on molecular diagnostic tests that identify drug targets or biomarkers of response. This is challenging to implement in cancers such as pancreatic cancer, which are heterogeneous and have numerous molecular phenotypes at low frequency. We have been involved in the PrecisionPanc clinical trial from its inception in 2017; this platform trial aims to improve the survival rates of patients with pancreatic cancer by establishing a framework to perform molecular profiling and evaluation of circulating biomarkers before matching the patient to a clinically relevant therapeutic study.