Bram Van Gaever
DNA methylation profiles are known to be very tissue- and tumor-specific, but the potential diagnostic power of the methylation profiles of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) has not been fully unlocked.
We are investigating the power of these ctDNA methylomes for the diagnosis of various types of cancer. With novel sequencing techniques like cell free reduced representation bisulphite sequencing (cfRRBS) we are able to perform a cost-effective analysis of the methylation of cell free DNA (cfDNA) in the blood of patients. This non-invasive test could prove to be an interesting tool not only for diagnosis but also follow up of the tumor. A strong focus lies on the research of several lymphoma subtypes as it is often difficult to obtain a good tissue biopsy of lymphoma that contains enough tumor cells for effective sequencing. Liquid biopsy can be the answer for these types of tumors as often the amount of tumoral DNA found in these samples can be higher than what can be extracted from the tissue biopsies. With the methylation data from liquid biopsies of patients many types of machine-learning models can be trained to either predict the tumor type or tumor load in the blood.
During my project I will use cfRRBS to study the cfDNA methylation in various types of liquid biopsies in order to create robust predictive models that can aid diagnosis.
Contact & links
- Lab address: PAD-building, entrance 26, Ghent University Hospital, Corneel Heymanslaan 10, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
- Bram Van Gaever is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks