Associate Professor Edouard Nice, Professor Jonathan Cebon & Dr Peter Gibbs
Cancer is often only detected once it has invaded surrounding tissues and spread to other organs. Cancer treatment is then often ineffective and prognosis poor. Early detection of cancer by, for example, the analysis of cancer specific products (biomarkers) is therefore essential for improved disease management. Ideal methods must be cheap, non-invasive, rapid and accurate. We are developing a new biosensor technology, which uses sensitive luminescence detection, which satisfies these criteria. The chemistry behind the detection system used in this assay allows for virtually any cancer biomarker to be detected using the same instrumentation by a simple manipulation of the assay reagents. As well as being used for the early detection of cancer, assays can also be developed which could monitor for recurrence of disease or response to treatment, or which could be used to select patients for clinical trials. This study is developing a number of sensitive biomarker assays which we will investigate for the detection and surveillance of a number of cancers including colon, bladder and melanoma.