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Proteomics, Bioinformatics to Play Role in New Cancer-Detection Center at Fred Hutchinson

NEW YORK, June 12 - Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center has created a new program that will use proteomics and bioinformatics technology to develop tests for certain cancers, the center said yesterday.


The five-year program, called the Early Detection Initiative, will be funded by a $4.4 million grant from The Paul G. Allen Foundation for Medical Research, also based in Seattle; the Keck Foundation, of Los Angeles; and businessman Donald Listin.

The goal of the program is "to demonstrate that blood-serum protein profiles can distinguish individuals with early stage cancer from those who are healthy," according to a statement. To that end, the program will use proteomics and bioinformatics technologies and techniques to "develop, test and implement methods for detecting proteins that signify the presence or risk of cancer in human blood samples."

Fred Hutchinson said it is working with "several partners" with "specialized technical and bioinformatics expertise," including Microsoft and the Institute for Systems Biology.

"Early detection provides one of the most promising opportunities to reduce the incidence of advanced cancer and cancer deaths," said Nobel laureate Lee Hartwell, who will oversee the program. "New and emerging data-rich technologies provide an opportunity for a broader understanding of disease susceptibility and early detection. This knowledge has the power to transform medical care from treatment of advanced disease to monitoring and managing early stage illness and susceptibility."

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