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Fred Hutchinson Researchers Win $17.5M from NCI's Early Detection Research Network

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have won $17.5 million from the National Cancer Institute's Early Detection Research Network in five-year awards toward ongoing coordination of the EDRN, as well as projects centered on colon cancer biomarker discovery and breast and ovarian cancer biomarker validation.

Ziding Feng, a biostatistician and member of the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division, was awarded $10 million to lead EDRN's data management and coordinating center. Its purposes include enhancing communication and collaboration among EDRN researchers, coordinating biomarker validation studies, conducting statistical research, and disseminating biomarker information to scientists and the public.

The Hutchinson Center has coordinated EDRN since 2000.

The colon cancer biomarker developmental laboratories of Paul Lampe and Samir Hanash, both members of the public health sciences division, were awarded $3.4 million to perform broad proteomic and glycomic screens and analyses to find colon cancer biomarkers.

Christopher Li, a member of the public health sciences division, received $2.5 million to lead a clinical epidemiology and validation center for breast and ovarian cancer – one of nine such centers in the US. Li plans to validate breast and ovarian cancer biomarkers with phase III studies, as well as share the center's breast and ovarian cancer tissue repositories with collaborators, said the Hutch.

Bill Grady, an associate member of the Clinical Research Division, will share with co-principal investigator Sanford Markowitz of Case Western Reserve University a $1.6 million grant 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 in the statement.

EDRN links 59 institutions intent on helping evaluate new ways of detecting cancer in its earliest stages, then determining cancer risk. The network is also focused on helping provide individualized treatment to cancer patients by accelerating the translation of biomarker information into clinical applications.

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