The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Circulating tumour DNA (ct-DNA)

The presence of tumour DNA in the bloodstream of cancer patients was first noted in the 1970s. Tumour cells release fragments of DNA by a variety of mechanisms, such as secretion, apoptosis or necrosis.

Some patients with non-small cell lung cancer have a mutation in the EGFR gene and may be responsive to treatment with tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

The laboratory currently offers genetic testing for a number of EGFR mutations in blood samples from patients for whom it has not been possible to obtain tumour tissue, or for patients with lung cancer who have been treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors but subsequently show signs of clinical progression, and for whom new treatments may be accessible. The test currently uses a validated real-time pcr commercial kit but other methodologies are being explored.

For further details please contact the lab on 0113 2064570.