LAO SAAL (MD, PhD) is the CEO of SAGA Diagnostics AB, Medicon Village, Lund, as well as the Head of Translational Oncogenomics Unit, Department of Oncology, Lund University.
WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF YOUR RESEARCH?
We and others have previously shown the PTEN/PI3K pathway to be a key promotor of tumorigenesis and a target for therapeutic modulation. With a particular interest in this pathway, my research group applies advanced genome-wide technologies such as DNA- and RNA- sequencing to study breast cancer biology with the goal of translating our findings into new clinical applications. We are also studying the clinical utility of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) “liquid biopsy” analyses.
WHAT IMPACT DO YOU HOPE YOUR RESEARCH WILL HAVE ON CANCER CARE/CANCER PATIENTS?
We are one of the co-PIs of the SCAN-B project, a multicenter study that aims to introduce genomic biomarkers into the clinical routine for breast cancer. Since 2010, SCAN-B has prospectively enrolled more than 11,000 patients in Sweden and generated RNA-seq data on more than 8000 breast tumors to date; the world’s largest dataset of its kind to our knowledge. New prognostic and treatment-predictive biomarker signatures are being developed within SCAN-B which could lead to improved personalized medical care for future breast cancer patients.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBILITIES FOR COMMERCIALIZING YOUR RESEARCH?
In addition to the above, we believe our ctDNA liquid biopsy research has strong potential to improve the monitoring and treatment of cancer patients. Therefore, in 2016 we founded SAGA Diagnostics AB, which aims to bring ultrasensitive ctDNA analyses in to the clinic. Today, SAGA has a growing customer-base within big biopharma, academia, and even healthcare.
WHERE CAN I READ MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR RESEARCH?