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Penn School of Medicine receives $2.3 million to study biomarkers of cigarette smoke exposure
Date:9/14/2007

say, Heres your DNA on smoking and heres DNA without smoking. This is my vision. Blair is also the Director of Penns Center for Cancer Pharmacology.

The researchers propose to screen smokers, non-smokers and those regularly in contact with second-hand smoke for a variety of biochemical markers. Previous studies have shown that chemical changes arise within the body, from the tissue level down to the DNA level in people who smoke or who have been exposed to smoke, but this association has never been studied on a large scale with reliable biomarkers.

The plan is to develop a panel of biochemicals, or biomarkers, that indicate if a person has been exposed to smoke to then distinguish between a group of non-smokers and disease-free tobacco smokers. They will test for the presence of these chemicals in smokers blood, urine, and breath. These studies will provide important base-line data for subsequent studies that will relate cigarette smoke exposure to incidence and genetic susceptibility to tobacco-related disease of the lung and cardiovascular system.

The Penn program has already implemented patient recruitment through the participation of Anil Vachani, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine. It is anticipated that substantial new information will become available on the presence of various biomarkers so that Andrea Troxel, PhD, Associate Professor of Biostatistics, can assess their potential utility. In addition to determining conventional lipid and DNA biomarkers, a discovery program will be implemented in collaboration with Don Baldwin, PhD, Director of the Penn Microarray Core Facility, in order to identify potential protein biomarkers.

The Principal Investigators from each of the funded projects in the GEI will meet at the National Institutes of Health in December 2007 so that the projects can benefit from the individual expertise of the various participants. Annual meetings between the investigators will then take place over
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Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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