ASU Cancer Biomarker Research Getting National Attention

By Dennis Lambert
Published: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 10:53am
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The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University is getting national attention for groundbreaking research into the early detection of colon, breast, lung and other forms of cancer.

Professor Joshua LaBaer says they’re trying to detect signals in the blood that are only there when cancer is present before they can be clinically detected.

“The approach that we’re using is to look for biomarkers in the blood,” LaBaer said. “These are molecules, sometimes they’re proteins, in the cases that we’re doing they’re often antibodies that are floating in the bloodstream and then are specific for cancer.”

LaBaer says the hope is that someday people could use the test to avoid radical preventative procedures like a mastectomy that might be needed to avoid breast cancer. But he says they’re still years away from any generalized cancer screening.

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