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Early detection of lung cancer
Date:2/2/2011

This release is available in German.

Lung tumors are the number one cause of death among cancer patients, and one cancer in three is lung cancer. Each year, there are 50,000 new cases of the disease in Germany alone. The earlier a tumor can be detected, the greater the chance of healing the patient. But early detection is difficult. In its initial stages, the tumor-related complaints resemble chronic inflammatory reactions. To get a more complete diagnosis, the patient must undergo an X-ray examination or an bronchoscopy. The last procedure often involves irritation of the lung or removal of tissue samples and, as a result, it is particularly unpleasant for the patient undergoing the procedure. In recent years, scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI in Leipzig have teamed up with colleagues at the University Clinic of Leipzig to develop a procedure that can detect special protein biomarkers in exhaled air. The presence of biomarkers suggests the presence of tumor cells in the lung. In a project sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the specialists want to work with partners in industry two medium-sized companies in the regional to produce a first prototype that can then be further developed into a diagnostic tool that can be used in practice.

"Since 2006, working with the working groups of Professor Hubert Wirtz and Professor Ulrich Sack of the University Clinic, we first identified various biomarkers that are particularly well-suited for the identification of lung-cancer cells," notes Dr. Jrg Lehmann, head of the Cell Engineering/GLP Unit at IZI. "The main difficulty lies in finding a reliable way to distinguish cancer from chronic inflammatory disease." The researchers have developed a laboratory method for reliably identifying biomarkers specific to lung cancer in special samples
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Contact: Joerg Lehmann
joerg.lehmann@izi.fraunhofer.de
49-341-355-361-205
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert

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