Professor Louis Chesler, Professor of Paediatric Cancer Biology at the ICR, and Consultant at The Royal Marsden, has led a study that has unlocked the potential of using genetic testing to determine which treatment may be the best option for a child with cancer. This study used a sequencing test that clinicians can use to stratify young patients to receive different targeted drugs, dependent upon gene sequencing information. Using this approach, these patients could receive therapies that are targeted at their specific tumour, and that could improve their lives.

The study has been published in the European Journal of Cancer, and has been supported by a number of charities, including Rosetrees.

The next steps for testing will be the further development of liquid biopsies, which would consist of blood sample analysis. This would replace the need for invasive biopsies, and allow for closer monitoring of tumour response.

Written by: Rebecca Downing