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Friday 20 February 2015 4:16pm

New blood tests using genomic technologies may provide a better way to assess treatments for advanced rectal cancer.

Dr Chris Jackson, CTCR Te Aho Matatū Advisory Board member and researcher, is featured in the latest edition of He Kitenga, University of Otago Research Highlights.

He describes current methods of detecting response to cancer treatment as relatively crude and blunt – it can often take months to determine whether a particular treatment is working. Central to the project will be the use of new blood-test technology to collect and assess the cancer's circulating tumour DNA. Blood tests could provide a real-time assessment of the cancer's genomic evolution and response to therapy.

Our big advantage is the close relationship between the hospital and the University network of cancer clinicians. We are working with research scientists in a structured and systematic way – making the most of the collaborative opportunities New Zealand has to offer. Also, patients in the Otago-Southland region are extraordinary in their willingness to participate in research studies.

Dr Jackson's project has attracted funding from the Health Research Council Emerging Researcher First Grant.

Read the full article in He Kitenga:

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