The national circulating tumour DNA pilot has recently received national, widespread coverage.

In addition to featuring online, a package on the pilot was aired on BBC Breakfast last week, and received extensive activity across social media platforms too!

Cancerous tumours often release fragments of their DNA into the bloodstream (known as circulating tumour DNA) that through a liquid biopsy test can be sampled to identify key genetic drivers of the tumour.  

The NHS England pilot, managed through the Genomic Medicine Service, enables patients from 80 Trusts across England with suspected advanced lung cancer to have a ctDNA test before or at the same time as diagnostic biopsies are taken.  

The ctDNA test enables patients with key changes in their genome to access targeted treatments and avoid unnecessary chemotherapy, significantly improving their quality of life.

The feature is available to view via the BBC website, with more background available on the NHS North Thames Genomic Medicine Service Alliance's website. We also produced an article in August 2023, highlighting what the ctDNA pilot is, which is available here:

Moving forward, we are delighted to be co-leading a NHS Genomic Network of Excellence, which will build on existing circulating biomarker testing projects, for example in non-small cell lung cancer, as it looks to expand the innovative test into a range of other tumour types.

This NHS Genomic Network of Excellence will link with the Institute for Cancer Research, the Christie Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, Kings Health Partners and a number of NIHR BRCs.