Research / Precision medicine and personalised prevention

Integrating ctDNA into the New Zealand healthcare system

Using ctDNA to detect and manage cancer treatment

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Project Status: Active Funding: $1,899,996 Timeframe: August 2019 – June 2024



Take | Issue

Undergoing cancer treatment can be traumatic, difficult and time-consuming, and access to cancer treatment is inequitable.

The current healthcare system relies on invasive imaging techniques (only available at major hospitals) to monitor the progress of cancer treatment.

Whāinga | Aim

Circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) technology uses a simple blood test to identify and measure cancer markers in the bloodstream.  It delivers more rapid and sensitive results than current methods for monitoring cancer treatment.

This study seeks to demonstrate the utility of ctDNA in the management of cancer in a variety of clinical settings, and aims to establish the technology as a routine service in New Zealand.

As part of this it will investigate the potential for using ctDNA technology to improve access to care for patients in rural areas by developing a new community-based method for monitoring cancer treatment.

Huarahi I Whāia | Approach

An earlier Healthier Lives’ study established the utility of ctDNA technology in detecting colorectal cancer and melanoma.

This study will test the feasibility of using ctDNA as a cancer surveillance tool and investigate its potential for early cancer detection. It will also investigate extending the use of ctDNA technology to managing other cancers, including breast, lung, stomach and paediatric cancers.

Research presentation: Improving cancer diagnosis and treatment with ctDNA
Healthier Lives Kōrero Tahi 2024: equity and beyond (13-14 February 2024)

YouTube video



Pāpāho | Media

Video | kōnae whakaata

Project Team

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