Currently, tissue biopsies are the golden standard to diagnose cancer. However this method is invasive and harmful to the patient and it is often not representative for the enitre (sometimes metastatic) tumor, creating a sampling bias. Furthermore, tissue biopsies require a detectable and accessible tumor, which is not always present. Liquid biopsies is a technique which holds promise to overcome many of these issues. My research is focused on developing and applying liquid biopsy technology for deep profiling of tumor and micro-environment derived nucleic acids and to allow non-invasive monitoring of tumor growth.
During my doctoral research I will also assist in the development of a novel spatial transcriptomics technology to allow monitoring of the immune response during therapy, to follow-up tumor heterogeneity and to deconvolute the different cell types present in a tumor.