New genes machine can help cancer patients at QA

CANCER patients could get better treatment thanks to a new machine that uses DNA to detect mutated genes.

Saturday, 2nd July 2016, 6:05 am
The new DNA sequencing test for cancer patients at QA Hospital Picture: Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham has recently bought the multi-gene DNA sequencing test that can help predict cancer patients’ responses to treatment.

A donation of £38,000 from the League of Friends enabled the trust to get the personal genomic machine.

Dr Cheng Yeoh, consultant medical oncologist at QA Hospital, said research using the machine will help create a one-stop oncology clinic.

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Dr Yeoh said: ‘At a research level, this machine will also allow us and the team of research scientists to help expand our in-house laboratory research.

‘There are already successful grants to support this, including those looking at ovarian cancer.

‘This research work will pioneer the vision of a one-stop oncology clinic where patients, at their first presentation, will be genetically profiled upfront to help oncologists decide which treatment is most likely to work best for each patient.

‘Gene profiling can predict responses to therapy, while looking at the prognostic genes will predict if the cancer is aggressive or more likely to have a poorer prognosis, for example.

‘This machine really will be of great benefit to our patients and we can’t thank the League of Friends enough.’

The PGM uses the latest DNA sequencing techniques to detect mutations across genes that may be driving cancer growth in patients with solid tumours. It can see if a cancerous tumour is aggressive or more likely to have a poorer prognosis.

The presence of a mutation in a gene can also potentially determine which treatment a patient should receive.

Researchers in the cancer laboratory at the 
hospital say the new test, which costs around £100 per patient, could save significantly more in drug costs by getting patients on to the right treatments straight away.

It could also reduce harm from side effects as well as the time lost before arriving at an effective treatment.

A spokesman for the League of Friends at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, said it was great for them to be able to make a donation.

He added: ‘It is great to be able to donate this machine to the cancer laboratory team to enable them to further continue their excellent work.’