Scientists worldwide are doing incredible things to improve the diagnosis and treatment of all forms of cancer. New approaches such as targeted immunotherapies are opening up new avenues for cancer treatment that prove highly effective.

At RGCC, we've pioneered the use of personalised genetic testing for cancer diagnosis, and others are listening with the NHS trialling cancer testing in the UK. Across the world, people diagnosed with cancer face a brighter future because of the ground-breaking work done by scientists, including those at RGCC. We continue to push the boundaries of what's possible. We have published several influential papers this year and continue to invest in research. 

At RGCC, we're pioneering genetic testing that improves cancer diagnosis and treatment. You can learn more about our range of cancer genetic tests here RGCC tests Archive - ( .

Here are six cancer research stories that our scientists believe you should know about in 2021. 

Inside combination immunotherapies

In November 2021, readers got a fascinating insight into the development of combination immunotherapies by Panagiotis Parsonidis, a molecular biologist and lead researcher at RGCC. In a feature article published in Drug Discovery World, Parsonidis takes readers inside the development of VAXO-Q-RE, a combination immunotherapy now available exclusively from RGCC.

Parsonidis is leading a research project that has the potential to transform breast cancer treatment across the world. The article digs into the detail and demonstrates the passion for treating cancer that's part of everything we do at RGCC.

You can read the full article, Inside combination immunotherapies for cancer, here.

Understanding how cancer cells evade the immune system

The immune system is meant to fight invisible invaders, but why do some cancer cells evade our natural defences? That's the question facing researchers who identified 100 "mutated tumor suppressor genes" that actively escape and evade detection and attack by the immune system. In October, we wrote about the significance of this finding and the potential it could unlock for developing new targeted treatments and therapies. 

You can read our article, How cancer cells evade the immune system, here.

Assessing the potential of CTCs for detecting cancer

At RGCC, we've pioneered the use of CTCs as a diagnostic tool for cancer, developing a range of tests using liquid biopsy techniques. In May, a review in Frontiers in Oncologyestablished that liquid biopsies are an accurate diagnostic tool, specifically for "solid cancers such as breast, small cell lung, non-small cell lung, colorectal, and prostate cancers". CTCs are also a valuable biomarker to track cancer progression, the authors conclude.

However, scientists can do a huge amount more, say the authors. "CTCs as a liquid biopsy have not yet fulfilled their undisputable potential to inform the personalized management of patients with cancer which may even extend to the high bar of earlier detection of cancers," say researchers. We're continuing to develop new and advanced liquid biopsy tests at RGCC that can help improve cancer diagnosis. 

You can read the full paper, Early Dissemination of Circulating Tumor Cells: Biological and Clinical Insights, here.

Precision breast cancer treatments slows tumour progression 

A new precision chemotherapy treatment developed by AstraZeneca and the Daiichi Sankyo Company is much more effective at treating women with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer. During the trial, women who took the drug trastuzumab deruxecan were 72% less likely to experience a growth in their cancer when compared to existing breast cancer treatments. 

"This exciting work is likely to change clinical practice and offer real benefits for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer," said Cancer Research UK's Professor Charles Swanton. The new treatment is an exciting development and could provide new options for women who have breast cancer. 

You can read the AstraZeneca press release here

New genistein capsule offers improved cancer-killing properties

Genistein is a naturally occurring compound that has the ability to limit cell growth. However, the public has suffered from a lack of control and guidelines on its production and sale, meaning low-quality buying genistein online is risky.

In May 2021, RGCC scientists published. A new paper describing how they have developed a new genistein dietary supplement that's 34% more effective than the leading brand. "RGCC's capsules exhibited enhanced action in human cell lines as well as impressive pharmacokinetic results in animal models," say the authors. "Its maximum concentration in vivo was determined 34% higher than the commercial one."

You can read the full paper, Genistein as a dietary supplement; formulation, analysis and pharmacokinetic study, here.