Circulating DNA Project
What is Circulating DNA?
Research has shown that everybody has detectable levels of DNA circulating in their blood and the levels are higher in patients with cancer. Early research suggests that levels may go up and down with anti-cancer treatments.
We would like to understand more about the relationship between the amount of circulating tumour DNA found in the blood and what this means for patients with pancreatic cancer.
What do we aim to find?
We are hoping that if the levels of tumour DNA found in the bloodstream inform on a patient's disease status, then in the future we may be able to assess the effectiveness of different treatments with a simple blood test.
Therefore, circulating tumour DNA may be used as a personalised biomarker (detectable molecule in the blood) to monitor the disease status of patients with pancreatic cancer.
What does participation involve?
Currently this study is only open to APGI participants who have had their pancreatic cancer surgically removed, who are undergoing treatment at Royal North Shore Hospital and Bankstown Hospital. We hope to open the study to all pancreatic cancer suffers in the future. Participation will involve taking an additional blood sample from participants at the time of their routine blood tests, which are taken throughout the course of normal treatment. Researchers will then look at these blood samples and see if the circulating tumour DNA levels reflect the response to treatment.
Research Study Investigator
Dr. Venessa Chin will complete her medical oncology specialty training at the end of 2012. She has an interest in pancreatic cancer, most particularly in biomarkers and is currently studying a PhD with the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative (APGI).