Peter Mac News

Blood test to help patients in need of answers

26 March 2024

A new liquid biopsy test will be developed aiming to provide rapid diagnosis for “CUP” patients.

Patients with CUP - or “Cancer of Unknown Primary” – have cancer that has obviously spread from elsewhere but its origin is a mystery, posing extra challenges when it comes to treatment.

Around 2,600 Australians are diagnosed with CUP every year and Peter Mac is home to Australia’s first dedicated CUP clinic, established and headed by Professor Linda Mileshkin.

The test will be developed by Associate Professor Richard Tothill, from the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research, in partnership with Peter Mac’s Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson.

Tothill Dawson

Needing only a sample of the patient’s blood, the test will enable scientists to analyse blood-borne fragments of cancer DNA and then compare the results to genetic information from known cancers.

This new test is one of four projects to share in a total $6.5 million funding just announced by The Advanced Genomics Collaboration.

Read more about this new test, and its potential to change the course of treatment for patients like Khannah, in this story just published in The Age.