Colin Lindsay, PhD, earned the IASLC Lung Cancer Fellowship Award for 2015-2016 and will study underneath Dr. Benjamin Besse, head of the Thoracic Cancer Unit at Institut Gustave-Roussy, the largest cancer center in Europe.
Sampling Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) with a simple blood test is an alternative and new way of examining tumor cells. This technique is sometimes called a “liquid biopsy.” This alternative is attractive because normal biopsies can sometimes be distressing, hazardous, or technically difficult to achieve. Dr. Lindsay aims to develop the use of an analysis technique called VyCap filtration which will help obtain large amounts of CTCs from all patients on a consistent basis.
After developing a consistency with the VyCap technique, Dr. Lindsay will evaluate the outcomes of patients with more CTCs picked up using VyCap compared to traditional methods. Previous studies have suggested that VyCap may catch more “aggressive” CTCs than other methods. He will also compare the genetic code between CTCs and a patient’s original tumor biopsy. This will ensure that the CTCs truly represent the cancer from which they come. All of these aims offer new levels of “quality control” and consistency with CTCs. This may lead to an introduction to clinic use where they can assist evaluation of prognosis and response to treatment, as well as possibly exclude the need for biopsies.
“Lung cancer remains the largest unmet oncological need in the UK and Europe, a challenge which I relish and wish to pursue as a career,” Dr. Lindsay said.