The critical need for longitudinal tissue and blood sample collection in cancer research


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Mariam Jamal-Hanjani1, Matthew G Krebs2
1University College London, London, UK, 2The Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Manchester, UK

Abstract

The collection of human tissue and blood samples is of utmost importance for cancer research and delivering personalised medicine. There is increasing evidence to support inter-and intra-tumour heterogeneity and evolution of disease over time, particularly in acquiring resistance to systemic therapy. Longitudinal collection of tissue is therefore essential to fully interrogate the evolving tumour genomic landscape and to identify targets for therapeutic intervention. Analysis of circulating tumour cells and cell-free DNA, acquired from a simple blood test, may also represent tumour heterogeneity, offering a minimally invasive means for tumour monitoring and has the potential to become an invaluable tool in the clinic for personalised therapy.