Hanash wins Komen grant for breast cancer blood test

The $599,999 award supports research to develop companion test to mammograms for increased accuracy and earlier detection
Dr. Samir Hanash is head of the Molecular Diagnostics program in the Public Health Sciences Division. Center News file photo

The Hutchinson Center's Dr. Samir Hanash, Public Health Sciences Division, is the recipient of $599,999 from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The grant supports the development of a blood test that would be a companion to mammograms but more accurate in detecting breast cancer at an early stage.

Hanash said Komen's funding will greatly move the discovery process forward for quicker demonstration and validation of findings. "The result would be a tremendous breakthrough and bring us closer to 100 percent accuracy in detecting breast cancer through a simple blood test that could be done at any clinic or doctor's office," he said.

Through Molecular Diagnostics—a multi-disciplinary program using proteomics, genomics and bioinformatics—Hanash and colleagues seek to identify trace proteins that could be used for early detection of breast and other cancers.  

Of the money raised locally through the Puget Sound Affiliate of Susan G. Komen, 25 percent is pooled and distributed through Komen National Breast Cancer Research and Training Grants, with a significant amount of the funds returning to medical research facilities within the Puget Sound area. The other 75 percent stays local and supports early detection, mammogram screenings and treatment support for low income and underserved women throughout Western Washington.

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