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Boston University School of Medicine awarded grants to improve early detection of lung cancer
Date:12/14/2010

(Boston)- Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have been awarded a five-year, $2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Early Detection Research Network (EDRN), as well as a four-year, $1.3 million grant from the Department of Defense (DOD). These grants will allow the scientists to develop novel and complementary procedures for early detection of lung cancer in high-risk patients.

The grant from NCI will support collaboration between the University of California-Los Angeles and Boston University to form a Lung Cancer Biomarker Development Laboratory (UCLA-BU BDL) as part of the NCI EDRN program. The focus of the Boston University portion of this research program is designed to develop new tests for diagnosing lung cancer based on subtle cancer-related differences in cells from the nose or mouth.

"The idea is that even though these cells aren't cancerous, they act differently in patients with cancer and we can use these differences to diagnose disease," said Marc Lenburg, PhD, one of the principal investigators on the grant and an associate professor of medicine and pathology at BUSM.

The Boston University researchers will use sophisticated genomic approaches that measure the activity of each gene to detect the differences between patients with and without cancer. By drawing from the vast academic and clinical resources at the two institutions, the UCLA-BU BDL will advance new discoveries and transform them into early detection tools for lung cancer.

The DOD grant will fund collaborative research involving researchers at Boston University, UCLA, MD Anderson, and Vanderbilt University. This project also focuses on novel tests for the early detection of lung cancer, and will study veterans. Veterans are 75 percent more likely to develop lung cancer than civilian adults and also more likely to die from the disease.

The researchers will collect cells from the airways of ve
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Contact: Nathan Bliss
nathan.bliss@bmc.org
617-638-8490
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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