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Tytgat Group

Aleksandra Letunovska

Group: Tytgat Group

About Aleksandra 

I was born and raised in Latvia, but moved to the UK independently from my family at the age of 15, where I have completed most of my education. I have a master’s degree in “Cancer and molecular and cellular biology” and worked as a Biomedical Scientists in translational research with the UK UMBRELLA study group at the University College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (UCL GOS ICH). The UMBRELLA study focuses on improving treatment for children with renal cancers.

My Project: Liquid biopsies in neuroblastoma, focus on cell free DNA and messenger RNA

Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extracranial pediatric tumor. Currently, the 3-year overall survival for high-risk patients is only 40%. NB is extremely heterogenous with copy number alterations, chromoplexy and chromothripsis. This highlights the urgent need for standardized molecular testing to improve diagnosis, treatment and monitoring. To do so, a liquid biopsy techniques used in this project. It is a blood-based, minimally invasive technique; allows for detection of circulating tumor-derived DNA (ctDNA) and mRNA.