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BUSM receives $13.6m grant to develop tools for the early detection of lung cancer
Date:10/19/2011

(Boston) Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) is the lead institution on a $13.6 million study aimed at developing novel technologies for the early detection of lung cancer. The five-year multi-site, multi-phase study that will focus on active military personnel and veterans is funded by the United States Department of Defense (DOD) Lung Cancer Research Program and will be conducted under the direction of principal investigator Avrum Spira, MD, MSc, associate professor of medicine, pathology and bioinformatics at BUSM and a pulmonologist at Boston Medical Center (BMC).

BUSM will collaborate with military hospitals and Veteran's Affairs medical centers across the country that collectively have the ability to investigate a large number of patients and gain access to a diverse variety of researchers and tools. The Detecting Early Lung Cancer Among Military Personnel (DECAMP) Consortium represents the largest consortium of researchers dedicated to identifying non-invasive ways to detect lung cancer early. Mitchell D. Schnall, MD, PhD, the Matthew J. Wilson professor of radiology at the University of Pennsylvania and chair of the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN), will serve as co-principal investigator.

In the military population, smoking rates are about 50 percent higher than the civilian population, and veterans in particular are 25-75 percent more likely to develop lung cancer than non-veterans. There has been an increase in smoking among members of the armed forces stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the rate is 50 percent higher in deployed vs. non-deployed personnel. Additionally, the exposure of other substances in the air when in combat, including radon, asbestos and fuel exhaust, is elevated among military personnel.

"Current lung cancer detection methods involve invasive procedures that are often done only after symptoms occur, and by that time, the cancer has spread outside of the lungs and ca
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Contact: Jenny Eriksen Leary
jenny.eriksen@bmc.org
617-638-6841
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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