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Molecular Profiling Laboratory

HCA International announces the opening of its new molecular profiling laboratory in London. 

Speaker: Dr Howard ‘Skip’ Burris,
Chief Medical Officer at Sarah Cannon

The laboratory, which is the result of a collaboration between Sarah Cannon (the cancer arm of HCA International) and UCL-Advanced Diagnostic (UCL-AD) (part of the UCL Cancer Institute), will benefit both NHS and private patients across the UK.

The new genetic profiling laboratory will pioneer a quick and cost-effective new tumour test that will give doctors a better chance of identifying the right treatment for UK cancer patients and increase access to clinical trials for the latest therapies. 

The laboratory introduces a new method, developed by UCL scientists, for the detection of mutations in a large number of genes in a single test.  The test also uses the same samples as existing pathology tests rather than requiring fresh tissue. These innovations combine to make genetic profiling considerably cheaper and more practical to carry out by health services than other techniques developed to date.

Team players: HCA International,
Sarah Cannon and UCL-AD

Currently, most mutational tests are conducted on single genes, a relatively slow and labour intensive process, particularly when several genes need to be tested. In addition, the use of individual tests for each genetic mutation requires much more tumour tissue, which presents significant difficulties when access to tumour material may be severely limited. 

Some other laboratories do conduct tests on large numbers of genes at once, but the process has so far been expensive to carry out and there may simply not be sufficient tissue to conduct multiple single gene tests meaning the most suitable drug may never be identified.  Doctors say the test used at the new laboratory will alter this situation and allow many more patients to gain access to the appropriate treatment for their cancer.

Speaker: Professor Chris Boshoff,
Director of UCL Cancer Sciences Institute

The laboratory will provide molecular profiling services to national and international customers in all healthcare sectors and will work closely with the newly created HCA Laboratories histopathology laboratory, which is located in the same building.

As well as providing diagnostics for currently available treatments, the laboratory will also support Sarah Cannon Research Institute and UCL’s Cancer Institute to identify potential patients to participate in clinical trials with innovative agents – further supporting the development and eventual introduction of additional targeted cancer therapies.

For more information please visit: or

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The Harley Street Clinic
The Lister Hospital
London Bridge Hospital
The Portland Hospital
The Princess Grace Hospital
Wellington hospital
Harley Street at University College Hospital
Harley Street Queens
The Christie Clinic
Sarah Cannon Research UK
Blossoms Healthcare
Roodlane Medical
Galen Health Partners
52 Alderley Road
The London Gamma Knife Centre at St Bartholomew's
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