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QuicDNA project nominated for two Moondance awards

Dr Magda Meissner is on the left and Craig Maxwell is on the right.

3 May 2024

A pioneering study led by Dr Magda Meissner, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Velindre Cancer Centre, and Sian Morgan, Director of the All-Wales Medical Genomics Service, has been nominated for two national awards.

The QuicDNA team which aims to transform the way lung cancer is diagnosed in Wales, has received two nominations for this year’s Moondance Cancer Awards in the ‘Achievement’ and ‘Innovation & Improvement’ categories.

QuicDNA is a study aims to reduce the time it takes to diagnose lung cancer and improve access to better cancer treatments with a new, innovative liquid biopsy technique using a simple blood test.

Lung cancer is the fourth most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in Wales.

Chief Investigator and Velindre Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Magda Meissner, said:

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude that the QuicDNA Project has been nominated for this year’s Moondance Cancer Awards in the 'Achievement' and 'Innovation & Improvement' categories. This project demonstrates how partners from many different sectors, including academia, industry, the NHS, the third sector, and patients, can collaborate effectively. QuicDNA aims to have a positive and meaningful impact on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with lung cancer, facilitating faster access to treatments within the NHS in the future.”

It has also been the subject of an incredible fundraising effort from patient, Craig Maxwell, after receiving his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer in 2022.

Through numerous fundraising activities, including a recent walk and cycle across the entire length of the Wales Coast Path, Maxwell has raised almost £1 million for the Maxwell Family Genomics Fund, of which the Velindre Cancer Charity is a partner.

Sian Morgan, Director of the All-Wales Medical Genomics Service, said about Craig’s efforts:

“In my 33 years of working in a genomics laboratory, I haven’t met a more inspirational patient advocate for the genomic cancer services we deliver within NHS Wales than Craig. Craig not only reminds us of the importance of what we do every day within genomics, but the real difference we make to patient lives. If the study proves to be successful, it could see Wales become the first nation in the UK to routinely use liquid biopsy for all patients suspected of having incurable lung cancer.”

Currently, diagnosis is carried out through a tissue biopsy, in which DNA is extracted from tissue taken from the tumour site in the lung.

Velindre University NHS Trust has been nominated for numerous awards at this year’s Moondance Cancer Awards.

The winners will be announced at a special celebration and awards night on Thursday 13 June, and a full list of nominees can be found on Moondance Cancer Wales’ website.

To find out more visit the Maxwell Family Genomics Fund website.  Donate here or donate £10 by texting ‘WALK24’ to 70191.

Velindre University NHS Trust, Unit 2,Charnwood Court, Parc Nantgarw, Nantgarw, Cardiff, CF15 7QZ
Tel: 029 2019 6161