Dr Nitzan Rosenfeld
Dr Nitzan Rosenfeld is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.
We aim to develop novel diagnostic tools for cancer, through the application of molecular and genomic technologies. Our focus is on circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) as a noninvasive modality to assess evolution of solid malignancies. The study of ctDNA is complicated by the presence of overwhelming amounts of germline (normal) DNA fragments in the blood: a typical sample (2 ml of plasma) may contain as many as 10,000 copies of germline DNA but only a few dozen copies of the tumour genome. We use a cutting edge methods such as next-generation sequencing and digital PCR that allow sensitive measurement of rare alleles. Changes in ctDNA levels may indicate disease progression and response to therapy. We've recently shown that ctDNA also allows noninvasive exploration of cancer genomics and clonal selection. We continue to develop better tools for ctDNA analysis. Translational projects explore the relationship between tumour changes and ctDNA levels, and their clinical implications.
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Murtaza M, Dawson SJ, Tsui DW, Gale D, Forshew T, Piskorz AM, Parkinson C, Chin SF, Kingsbury Z, Wong AS, Marass F, Humphray S, Hadfield J, Bentley D, Chin TM, Brenton JD, Caldas C, Rosenfeld N (2013), Non-invasive analysis of acquired resistance to cancer therapy by sequencing of plasma DNA. Nature. 2013 Apr 7. doi: 10.1038/nature12065. Dawson SJ, Tsui DW, Murtaza M, Biggs H, Rueda OM, Chin SF, Dunning MJ, Gale D, Forshew T, Mahler-Araujo B, Rajan S, Humphray S, Becq J, Halsall D, Wallis M, Bentley D, Caldas C, Rosenfeld N (2013), Analysis of circulating tumor DNA to monitor metastatic breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2013 Mar 28;368(13):1199-209. Epub 2013 Mar 13. Forshew T, Murtaza M, Parkinson C, Gale D, Tsui DW, Kaper F, Dawson SJ, Piskorz AM, Jimenez-Linan M, Bentley D, Hadfield J, May AP, Caldas C, Brenton JD, Rosenfeld N (2012), Noninvasive identification and monitoring of cancer mutations by targeted deep sequencing of plasma DNA. Science Translational Medicine 4 (136): 136ra68