Author: Tsang, Hin Fung
Title: Plasma RNA profiling in patients with colorectal cancer using NanoString-based platform
Advisors: Wong, Cesar (ABCT)
Degree: DHSc
Year: 2023
Subject: Colon (Anatomy) -- Cancer -- Diagnosis
Rectum -- Cancer -- Diagnosis
RNA -- Analysis
Blood plasma
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Pages: 131 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent cancers and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in developed countries. In Hong Kong, a total of 5,556 newly registered CRC cases and 2,174 deaths due to CRC were recorded in 2019, accounting for 14.6% of all cancer deaths in 2019. Despite the high incidence and morbidity, CRC is known to be one of the most curable cancers if it is detected in early stage through regular screening. CRC originates from the abnormal growth of epithelial cells on the wall of the large bowel. Early CRC may have no symptom and symptoms usually appear with more advanced diseases. Regular screening can identify people who are at increased risk of CRC in order to offer earlier clinical management and suitable treatment. Common regular CRC screening tests include fecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. Other promising technologies such as stool DNA test are emerging as potential options for CRC screening. Till now, direct visualization test such as colonoscopy remains the best gold standard method to examine the lower digestive tract for abnormalities and diseases. However, potential complications associated with the invasive procedures during colonoscopy such as bowel perforation and significant bleeding have hindered people from participating in the screening. Therefore, non-invasive CRC screening with high sensitivity is needed. Recently, the discovery of tumor-derived plasma cell-free RNA in cancer patients has opened up new opportunities for the early non-invasive cancer detection and monitoring. In this study, mRNA profiling of plasma samples obtained from CRC patients was performed using a novel digital color-coded barcode technology, NanoString technology. During the study period, Hong Kong along with the rest of the world was in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. Hence in the second part of this study, whole genome viral sequencing was performed on the common circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants in Hong Kong during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The aim of this study is to develop a new targeted digital counting method without PCR amplification for non-invasive screening and monitoring of CRC patients and to understand the mutational landscape of the SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in Hong Kong to understand if the mutations identified in these variants can compromise the protection from existing vaccines and the effectiveness of antibody therapies on CRC patients.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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