Liquid Biopsy: A Powerful New Tool

Liquid Biopsy:

A Powerful New Tool


2024 March

<p><strong>Precision</strong> cancer care</p>

Precision cancer care

Cancer isn’t just one disease. In reality, there are over 200 different types of cancer, all with their own complexities. To ensure doctors are equipped to fight every variation, they need to understand the cancer they are up against. A ground-breaking new technique called liquid biopsy is making this possible. Using a sample of blood, urine or saliva, cancer researchers are now able to detect cancer in the body by finding its DNA. With it, they unlock the cancer’s secrets, allowing them to find new treatments and save more lives.


Money raised to date

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$ 4,547,793
$ 7,000,000



The latest in precision oncology techniques will change how we fight cancer.

Liquid biopsy provides a clear advantage against cancer. It is minimally invasive, provides an accurate snapshot of the cancer, offers real-time monitoring, and can predict recurrence before a tumour forms. It’s already changing lives, but there remains much work to be done. Researchers must establish different liquid biopsy tests to meet different clinical needs, and more work must be done before everyone can benefit from its personalized, precision approach.



Let’s make liquid biopsy a standard of cancer care

Liquid biopsy isn’t far from becoming part of all cancer treatment. By supporting the pioneering scientists of the Research Institute of the MUHC, we can make it happen. Here’s what your donation can do:
  1. Refine liquid biopsy techniques

    The RI-MUHC’s experts are hard at work refining liquid biopsy techniques and adapting the tool to cancers of all kinds.

  2. Uncover new cancer treatments

    Liquid biopsy research provides a new look at different cancer types, allowing researchers to find weaknesses that can be exploited. The first step is finding these targets, followed by development of treatments that will hit the bullseye and destroy the cancer.

  3. Personalize cancer care

    The ultimate goal is to make liquid biopsy available to all individuals living with cancer. By personalizing cancer care in this way, more lives can be saved.

“My lab looks closely at circulating tumour DNA as a biomarker of cancer using liquid biopsy. However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying how cells secrete DNA into the bloodstream. My goal is to investigate the origins of circulating tumour DNA, so that we can better make sense of liquid biopsy data, which in turns translates to more personalized and less invasive cancer monitoring. This has great impact on the quality of life of patients living with cancer.”

Dr. Julia Burnier

Scientist, Cancer Research Program, Research Institute of the MUHC


News & Impact

What We've Done So Far

MUHC researcher receives inaugural Canadian Cancer Society award

The MUHC Foundation is thrilled to announce that Dr. Julia Valdemarin Burnier has received one of 15 inaugural Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) Emerging Scholar Awards.

Reaching new heights by working together

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation and MEDTEQ+ are proud to announce a new partnership with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC), MIMs, and Caprion-HistoGeneX, respective leaders in cancer research, artificial intelligence, and precision medicine, to increase survival of stage IV colorectal cancer patients.

Explore liquid biopsy with Dr. Julia Burnier

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