We have shown that lung tumor DNA with EGFR mutations can be identified in a blood sample (liquid biopsy), and that this technology is suited for monitoring treatment. Blood samples taken during treatment reveal that resistance mutations can be discovered in the blood up to one year before the patient shows clinical sign of progression. We now use liquid biopsies to monitor lung cancer treatment for several types of targeted treatments. The work involves development of specialised techniques suited for detection of tumor DNA circulating in the blood. This is done with Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), digital droplet PCR (ddPCR) and qPCR.
The following tumor derived biomarkers present in the blood of lung cancer patients are investigated:
- Tumor specific mutations, gene translocations and mRNA splice variants
- Soluble PD-1 receptor
In vitro Research
Our research involves cell culture experiments where lung cancer growth and targeted treatment is studied in molecular detail. Recently, we have generated lung cancer cell lines with acquired resistance to EGFR targeted therapy and an important part of our work is to investigate the mechanisms causing resistance. Characterisation of the resistant lung cancer cell lines includes studies of acquired mutations, altered mRNA expression as well as the activation of other tyrosine kinases.