Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) for better cancer care

Integration of ctDNA into the New Zealand healthcare system

August 2019 – June 2023

32 Parry Guilford's Lab (high res)_sequencer

Undergoing cancer treatment can be traumatic, difficult and time-consuming for patients, and there are inequities in access to cancer treatment in the current healthcare system.

Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) is an emerging technology which uses simple blood tests to identify and measure cancer markers in the bloodstream.  It offers potential to develop a new community-based method for monitoring the progress of cancer treatment.

For patients, the benefits of ctDNA technology include testing that is less invasive, more timely and closer to home, and treatment that is more targeted, has fewer side effects and better long term outcomes.  For the healthcare system, integrating ctDNA technology promises to reduce health inequities, reduce pressure on hospital radiology departments, and reduce costs.

An earlier study has confirmed the utility of ctDNA for the management of colorectal cancer and melanoma, and demonstrated the feasibility of remote sample collection.

The goal of this study is to demonstrate the utility of ctDNA technology for the management of other cancers in a variety of clinical settings across New Zealand, and to establish the technology as a routine, validated clinical service.


Research Team

Parry Guilford, Cris Print and Dianne Sika-Paotonu

Parry Guilford, Cris Print and Dianne Sika-Paotonu at the Healthier Lives Kōrero Tahi 2019

Science leader and principal investigator:

Co-principal investigators:

Associate investigators:


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