Early detection efforts yield nearly $17 million

Early detection efforts yield nearly $17 million
Awards fund network coordination and biomarker discovery, validation

SEATTLE-Sept. 15, 2010-The National Cancer Institute's Early Detection Research Network recently awarded almost $17 million to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center projects focused on colon cancer biomarker discovery, breast and ovarian cancer biomarker validation, and the ongoing coordination of the EDRN.

Founded in 1999, the EDRN brings together dozens of institutions to help accelerate the translation of biomarker information into clinical applications and to evaluate new ways of detecting cancer in its earliest stages and determine cancer risk.

The five-year awards will support:

The EDRN data management and coordinating center. Biostatistician Ziding Feng, Ph.D., a member of the Center's Public Health Sciences Division, was awarded $10 million to lead the EDRN data management and coordinating center, which enhances communication and collaboration among EDRN researchers, coordinates biomarker validation studies, conducts statistical research and disseminates biomarker information to the broader scientific community and the public. The Hutchinson Center has coordinated the EDRN since 2000.

Two colon cancer biomarker developmental laboratories. Paul Lampe, Ph.D., and Samir Hanash, M.D., Ph.D., both members of the Public Health Sciences Division, were awarded $3.4 million to perform both broad proteomic and glycomic screens and analyses to find colon cancer biomarkers.

In addition, Bill Grady, M.D., an associate member of the Clinical Research Division, will share a $1.6 million grant with co-principal investigator Sanford Markowitz, M.D., Ph.D., of Case Western Reserve University, to identify and validate methylated genes as new biomarker targets for colon cancer. "This work has the potential to lead to a more accurate, non-invasive test for colon polyps and early stage colorectal cancer than is currently available," Grady said.

A clinical epidemiology and validation center for breast and ovarian cancer.  Christopher Li, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the Public Health Sciences Division, received $2.5 million to lead this center - one of nine in the U.S. He plans to validate breast and ovarian cancer biomarkers with phase 3 studies. "This funding also allows us to engage in several new partnerships with investigators throughout the country," said Li, who plans to share Center breast and ovarian cancer tissue repositories with his collaborators.

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