Early detection efforts yield nearly $17 million

Awards fund network coordination and biomarker discovery, validation
Drs. Ziding Feng (upper left), Paul Lampe, Sam Hanash, Bill Grady and Chris Li
The five-year awards will support the work of Drs. Ziding Feng (upper left), Paul Lampe, Sam Hanash, Bill Grady and Chris Li. Center News file photos

The National Cancer Institute’s Early Detection Research Network recently awarded almost $17 million to Hutchinson 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 testing cancer in its earliest stages and for cancer risk.

The five-year awards will support:

  • The EDRN data management and coordinating center, awarded more than $10 million. Led by principal investigator Dr. Ziding Feng of the Public Health Sciences Division, this group 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 Center has coordinated the EDRN since 2000.
  • Drs. Paul Lampe and Sam Hanash’s efforts as lead investigators of a colon cancer biomarker developmental laboratory, one of 42 nationwide. The researchers, both in PHS, were awarded $3.4 million to perform both broad proteomic and glycomic screens and analyses to find colon cancer biomarkers.
  • A second colon cancer biomarker developmental laboratory, led by the Clinical Research Division’s Dr. Bill Grady. Grady will share the $1.6 million grant with his co-principal investigator, Case University’s Dr. Sandy Markowitz. Grady and colleagues are working 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—one of nine in the U.S.—led by PHS’s Dr. Chris Li, who 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 of the $2.5 million grant and his plans to share Center breast and ovarian cancer repositories.

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