Information for Researchers
Cancer is a major global disease burden. An estimate of this burden is as follows.
- Cancer: estimated incidence worldwide
- Cancer: estimated incidence in the UK
- 325,000 new cancers (~500 per 100,000)
- 157,000 deaths
- Barts Health (catchment population 820,000)
- Barts Health (extended population 2.5 million)
The medical treatment focuses on:
- Main focus: diagnosis and treatment of the primary cancer
- Secondary focus: the diagnosis, surveillance, prevention and treatment of cancer metastases
Therefore cancer causes
- Immense healthcare burden in terms of
- No single diagnostic test exists for diagnosis of cancer metastases
- A range of different scans and tumour markers are used with variable specificity and sensitivity.
What are biomarkers?
Biological markers which can be detected in human body though a range of tests can enable doctors to do various things for a disease. They can be divided as:
- Diagnostic biomarkers: enable early diagnosis
- Prognostic biomarkers: define patients requirement for additional treatment
- Predictive biomarkers: Define the type of treatment
- Pharmacodynamic: how patient may respond to treatment for e.g., how a drug/medicine may be distributed in body and what effect/side-effect it may have
- Efficacy response: whether patients are responding to treatment
So what is missing?
- To develop a diagnostic test, we are unable to access samples that are
- uniformly collected
- reliably stored
- clinically annotated
- These patients are often seen by diverse specialities in clinics at different sites.
- No clear collaboration between clinicians working in different specialities and scientists with distinct expertise.
What are the merging opportunities in research and treatment of cancer patients?
- More effective treatments
- Centralisation of services leads to highly experienced teams with efficient protocols
- Cutting edge technologies in research such as
- Next generation sequencing
- Proteomics, metabolomics, and other -omics platforms
- Cell and molecular biology
- Targeted treatment regimens
- Bioinformatics and IT