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  • Writer's pictureCarley Batley

ARTIST study recruits over 100 participants in first 60 days

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

ARTIST (a translational research Approach to development of optimal Renal cancer Treatments In Surgical and systemic Therapy patients) has quickly hit an important milestone for recruitment in its first 60 days. This is a new translational research study, led by Dr. Sarah Welsh and run by the CRUK Urological Malignancies programme in Cambridge, which aims to identify new biomarkers to aid earlier diagnosis and to guide the most appropriate treatments for patients with kidney cancer.

Uniquely, ARTIST enables researchers to collect data and biosamples (blood, urine, tumour, normal tissue, and stool) at all stages of the patient pathway. By running parallel to standard clinical care, samples are collected at clinically relevant time points, making results more applicable to the 'real life' clinical setting. This design means results can be easily applied in a wide range of healthcare settings, benefitting a wider range of patients. ARTIST includes patients with varied diagnoses, from those with genetic syndromes which predispose them to kidney cancer, but who may not have developed any clinical or radiological sign of disease, through to patients with widespread metastatic disease.

Principal Investigator, Dr. Sarah Welsh said, "this in-depth, longitudinal sampling will enable ARTIST to provide a 360 degree analysis of clinical, genomic (DNA and RNA), proteomic, metabolic, immunologic, microbiome, and radiological features of kidney cancer to improve outcomes for patients."

Data from ARTIST samples will be analysed across Cambridge, taking advantage of the rich diversity of expertise provided by members and collaborators of the UM programme. Sabrina Rossi is among UM members analysing data from ARTIST. Sabrina will perform analysis of methylation in ctDNA. Ms. Rossi said, "Previous work by [UM Lead] Professor Stewart and other colleagues in Cambridge showed that mutational analysis will only detect ctDNA in approximately 60 per cent of cases, we want to assess whether methylation analysis can improve on this." In future, better detection of ctDNA may aid in early detection, help improve diagnosis using liquid biomarkers, and assist clinicians in monitoring residual disease after treatment.

The UM programme will also provide samples to basic science labs to generate novel insights into kidney cancer that can be tested via the programme's clinical trials.

ARTIST is organised and run by the University of Cambridge and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUHFT) and funded by the Cambridge Cancer Centre Urological Malignancies Programme.

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