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Thermo Fisher to Collaborate with Newman-Lakka on Protein Biomarkers for Cancer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Thermo Fisher Scientific said today that it will collaborate with the Newman-Lakka Institute for Personalized Cancer Care at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center on methods for detecting and tracking blood-based protein biomarkers for various cancers.

The work will focus on applying the company's liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry equipment along with its mass spectrometry immunoassay technology to identify markers for breast and prostate cancer as well as tumor-associated blood vessel formation.

"We hope to be able to provide oncologists with a panel of biomarkers that sense microscopic levels of tumor cells with a simple blood test," Charles Newman, president of the Newman-Lakka Cancer Foundation, said in a statement. "The goal is to develop diagnostic tools to make it possible for physicians to check off a panel of biomarkers when patients get regular checkups, so early detection of disease can facilitate effective treatment."

The collaboration will also aim to develop tests to track patient response to treatment, Newman added, noting that such tests would allow oncologists to monitor efficacy of treatments without "waiting two months for an MRI and exposing the patients to additional harmful radiation."

The collaboration's mass spec research will largely take place at Thermo Fishers' Biomarkers Research Initiatives in Mass Spectrometry (BRIMS) center, though an instrument will also be installed at the Genesis Research Institute laboratory adjacent to the Newman Lakka Institute.

"We're extremely pleased about this opportunity to collaborate with experts in the search for better cancer treatments," Mary Lopez, director of the BRIMS center, said in a statement. "We anticipate great synergy between Newman-Lakka's cancer research expertise and our own strength in applying mass spectrometry to biological research and the advancement of personalized medicine will give greater value to both organizations."