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The University of Southampton

New study aims to predict risk of cancer

Published: 11 April 2018
Arun Cancer Trust donation
Peter Johnson with Dr Kathy Potter receives donation from Tim Davies

Scientists at the University of Southampton are to begin a new study aiming to highlight which patients are at higher risk of having cancer thanks to a generous donation from the Arun Cancer Trust.

The study will analyse blood samples from participants in the CANDID study, which is collecting and assessing clinical information from 20,000 patients who present to their GP, to determine which signs and symptoms may predict those who go on to be diagnosed with cancers.

When they agreed to take part in the research, patients had blood taken for storage in the Southampton tissue bank, to be used for testing possible early blood markers of cancer in the future. 

This new study, funded by a £180,000 donation from the Arun Cancer Trust, will look at circulating DNA, changes in gene methylation, presence of auto-antibodies, among other techniques, to find potential markers that will allow cancer to be diagnosed earlier in primary care. 

Professor Peter Johnson, of the University of Southampton, said: “We need to find ways to diagnose cancer earlier.  Smarter blood tests may be one way to help this, together with finding ways to help GP’s pick up cancer from patients’ symptoms. Our colleagues in the Primary Care and Population Unit have been very successful in running the CANDID trail, and thanks to the generosity of the patients taking part in the trial and the Arun Cancer Trust in supporting the work on the blood samples, we are in a great position to look for new ways to pick up cancers earlier.”

Tim Davies, a Trustee of the Arun Cancer Trust, a former GP and a graduate of the University of Southampton Medical School, said: “I am so pleased that the Arun Cancer Trust has been able to help push forward this cutting-edge multidisciplinary research.  Miss Bridget Foster, whose original donation funds this gift, would have been delighted to know that it is being used for such worthwhile ends, in particular focusing on the early diagnosis of bowel cancer in a primary care setting.” 



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