Monitoring the effectiveness of oesophageal and gastric cancer treatment

More than 100 patients at Flinders with oesophageal and gastric cancers will be involved in a groundbreaking new study, which will investigate whether a simple blood test can monitor the effectiveness of their cancer treatment.

Associate Professor Erin Symonds and her Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University research team have been awarded a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to  collect blood samples before, during and after patients receive their treatment, to test for cancer molecules previously shown to be very good at monitoring bowel cancer. This blood analysis work is being carried out in collaboration with Clinical Genomics. 

Oesophageal and gastric cancers are included in the 20 most serious cancers in Australia.

With incidence increasing, and generally poor outcomes, A/Prof Symonds said new clinical tests were needed to improve survival from these cancers.

“To improve outcomes, it is important that effective treatment is given. However, there are currently no blood tests in clinical use to be able to easily and safely monitor whether cancer treatment is effective for oesophageal and gastric cancers,” she explained.

“These tests will be used to monitor how well the treatment is working to ensure patients are receiving the most effective treatment for their cancer.

“It might also allow for early detection of the presence of residual cancer which will permit earlier commencement of further therapy, and may result in improved outcomes for patients.”

“These tests will be used to monitor how well the treatment is working to ensure patients are receiving the most effective treatment for their cancer.”


Research category: Cancer

Project title: Non-invasive assessment of treatment outcomes in patients with gastrointestinal cancers

Lead researcher: Associate Professor Erin Symonds

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