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U of Miami, Almac Partner on Breast Cancer Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Almac Diagnostics said today that University of Miami researchers will use its breast cancer microarray technology in studies of how genetic differences found in varying ethnic groups influence the disease.

The researchers at the university's Miller School of Medicine's Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center are using a two-year, $725,000 grant under the Department of Defense's Synergistic Idea Award program to fund the studies focused on the genetic differences found in African-American breast cancer patients in particular.

The company said its Cancer DSA microarray technology enables profiling from frozen and from FFPE tissue, and it is based on array content generated from sequencing, gene expression profiling, and mining of public databases and bioinformatics analysis.

Lisa Baumbach, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Miller School and a winner of the grant, said in a statement that the Almac diagnostic tools have been used in recent studies to "indicate that there may be distinct genetic differences in breast tissue between African-American, Caucasian, and Hispanic patients. The new grant will allow the UM team to take those findings a step further, with an international collaboration on women of African descent."

The Miller School research will compare genome expression in African-American women with naturalized African women, examining 50 women in each group, and will analyze chromosomal alterations associated with gene expression differences.

Financial and further terms of the agreement were not released.