New lab enhances cancer diagnosis - GulfToday

New lab enhances cancer diagnosis


The Liquid Biopsy Lab at Thumbay Research Institute for Precision Medicine in the Gulf Medical University, Ajman.

Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent

The establishment of a new Liquid Biopsy Lab at Thumbay Research Institute for Precision Medicine at the Gulf Medical University has added a new paradigm in cancer diagnosis and management in UAE.

Liquid Biopsy is a blood test that detects changes in normal DNA sequence shed by cancer cells in the blood. It can be used to predict cancer relapse well ahead of time even before tumours are seen on scans. This test could easily help clinicians and patients stay a step ahead of cancer by monitoring the changes and thus reactively picking treatments that fit attacking a particular tumour.

When conducted over a period of time, the blood test is capable of tracking the genetic changes or mutational changes that occur over a period of time and predict accurately if the cancer is about to return. The test is not only non-invasive but also can be done repeatedly to capture the mutations accumulated over a period of time and accurately predicts metastatic relapse in patients which then allows for a better decision in treatment. It allows for a personalised treatment.

The Liquid Bioposy Lab is an outcome of Translational Cancer Research at the Gulf Medical University researchers led by Prof. Salem Chouaib, who is well-known internationally in the field of cancer immunology, currently leading the Thumbay Research Institute for Precision Medicine.

Prof. Salem indicated that this new achievement is due to the support for research provided by GMU and the Thumbay Hospitals.  “It is a reflection of the colloboration in the UAE between researchers and hospitals who have contributed to this achievement.  Sheikh Khalifa Hospital Ras Al Khaimah is one of our main colloborator in this domain,” he said.

“We are ready to colloborate with all the cancer centres in the UAE and the Gulf region in order to use our Liquid Bioposy Lab and to make it a Centre of Excellence in Cancer Genomic and Immuno-oncology in UAE,” Prof. Salem.

GMU and its network of academic Thumbay Hospitals, Thumbay Labs & Thumbay Clinic have been playing a key role in UAE at this juncture of the crisis. Students of Gulf Medical University (GMU), Ajman, have also volunteered their services to support the fight against the global pandemic Covid-19.

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