Measuring genetic markers in the blood of patients with small cell lung cancer

Dr Dearbhaile Collins

Patients with small cell lung cancer have a very poor prognosis.  Almost 1 in 3 of these patients have a higher number of the oncogene i.e. a gene, or piece of DNA that can potentially cause cancer, called MYC.  The oncogene MYC has been reported to correlate with a more aggressive form of small-cell lung cancer, and lower overall survival.

This research project is a collaboration between Cork University Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research, Royal Marsden Hospital Trust, London.  The research team will collect blood samples from patients when they are first diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer before they start anti-cancer treatment.  The patient’s blood samples will be analysed for the MYC oncogene.  Using blood samples instead of tumour biopsy minimises potential harm to patients.

It is hoped that this research will help to identify patients with different risks of small cell lung cancer progression and potentially identify new targeted treatment approaches for patients.  This research will also increase our understanding of the role of the MYC oncogene in small-cell lung cancer.

Start year:
Principal Investigator:
Dr Dearbhaile Collins
Host Institution:
Cork University Hospital and The Institute of Cancer Research, Royal Marsden Hospital Trust, London
Cancer type:
Small Cell Lung Cancer
Linked Breakthrough Research Priorities:
1, 5

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