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NCI Seeks Genomic, Proteomic Markers for Hematopoietic Malignancies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Cancer Institute plans to fund researchers seeking to develop and validate biomarkers that can be used to detect and predict progression of hematopoietic malignancies, such as Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, and others.

NCI said in a new funding announcement Friday that it will provide up to $275,000 for two-year projects engaging in proteomic, genomic, epigenomic, and transcriptomic discovery and development research methods, and the use of standard biospecimens for validation studies. The funding also will support development of specific technologies for detecting or improving quantitation of novel markers for these malignancies.

NCI wants new markers for detecting and predicting the progression and recurrence of these diseases because there is a lack of markers targeting them.

Currently, many patients suffering from hematopoietic malignancies are not identified until their diseases are in advanced stages.

When patients are diagnosed earlier treatments are more effective and the likelihood of survival increases, said NCI, adding that earlier diagnosis and treatment also can improve patients' quality of life and could reduce their medical costs.

NCI said it is particularly interested in research to develop markers aimed at populations who are at greater risk for these diseases, such as people with viral infections, chronic infections, autoimmune disorders, recipients of organ transplants, and other groups.

The institute noted that the number of cases of leukemia and lymphoma are on the rise, and that non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the seventh most common cancer in the US, with an estimated 66,000 cases per year.

Another of these disorders, multiple myeloma, also has been on the rise, NCI said, and there are currently around 75,000 people living with the disease or are in remission, and more than 20,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2012.

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