Implementing whole genome sequencing in the breast cancer clinic | Dr Amy McCart Reed

Q-IMPROvE is the Qld-based study to investigate the benefit of implementing whole genome sequencing into the management of breast cancer patients.

Dr Amy McCart Reed, Senior Research Fellow

Centre for Clinical Research, University of Queensland

Breast cancer is incredibly heterogeneous with many different subtypes of tumours and highly variable patient outcomes. The vision of the Centre for Clinical Research at the University of Queensland is to harness genomics technology and national expertise to bring precision medicine to BC care in Australia.

Through the Q-IMPROvE study (Implementation of precision oncology in breast cancer) the group will implement Whole Genome Sequencing in patients with high-grade breast cancer undergoing neoadjuvant therapy in order to improve therapeutic decision making and patient outcomes. They will determine whether it is possible to develop individualised second-line treatment plans, including potential triage to relevant clinical trials, by employing whole genome sequencing in this setting. Their cost-benefit modelling will determine whether these innovations represent economic value to BC management, whilst also improving patient survival.

This study has the capacity to identify genomic alterations that predict response, resistance or toxicity to specific therapies, thereby potentially informing the tailored selection of second-line therapies and/or triaging patients to clinical trials. Collectively, the study is likely to provide the best outcome for each individual by matching the right treatments to each patient.

Dr Amy McCart Reed is a Senior Research Fellow with a longstanding interest in the molecular pathology and genomic basis of cancer. Dr McCart Reed completed her post-doctoral studies in colorectal cancer with Profs Ian Tomlinson and Andrew Silver (CRUK/QMUL) before returning to work on breast cancer with Prof Sunil Lakhani at UQCCR. Dr McCart Reed works extensively with archival samples, and has made recent contributions to understanding special types of breast cancer, such as lobular and metaplastic. Amy is passionate about clinical research and biobanking, and in addition to her breast cancer research portfolio she is founding member of the Brisbane Breast Bank steering committee.