The first stage of a collaboration between Genomics England, Inivata and Thermo Fisher Scientific looking to assess the suitability of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) samples collected during the 100,000 Genomes Project has now concluded. The collaboration, part of a pilot project working with industry, was also created to objectively evaluate liquid biopsy market offerings and find evidence for implementing that technology in healthcare. Results will be shared with researchers globally.

In the collaboration, Inivata and Thermo Fisher Scientific looked at the suitability for NGS-based testing of around 200 blood plasma samples taken during the 100,000 Genomes Project. They found that the samples were of a high quality, and when analysed gave reliable results consistent across all cancer types.

The collection methods allowed for ctDNA analysis, paving the way for further analysis of banked samples using liquid biopsy technology, as provided by both Inivata and Thermo Fisher. This suggests a high potential for liquid biopsy in improving cancer management and outcomes for patients.

The next stage of the pilot project will generate data towards an objective technology assessment between pre-selected liquid biopsy companies, to inform procurement and research strategies in the future. The last phase of the project will be a proof of concept ctDNA sample study to aid in developing less invasive sample collection techniques and improve care.