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Cancer Biomarkers Research Group

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Extraordinary Opportunities for Early Cancer Detection and Risk Assessment Research

Detection Technology

Our ability to detect, diagnose and treat cancer will most likely be based on the molecular changes that distinguish cancer cells from their normal counterpart. Having reliable detection technologies to identify tumors early is therefore crucial before they become invasive. Development of technologies to quantitate molecular changes at all levels of gene expression, and to integrate the information is needed to identify molecular alterations that are selectively expressed in pre-invasive lesions, and correlated with tumor aggression. For example, a technique that helps to simultaneously measure gene expression in tumors at various stages, both in tissue and body fluids, will accelerate our knowledge concerning the rational targets for screening. This will help develop novel strategies for the early detection of cancer, and thus facilitate the subsequent clinical management of the patient.

  • Development of integrated system for the automated and highly sensitive analysis of DNA with respect to their sequence, their state of modification and their state of association with other biomolecules, modular devices micro-fabricating using the photolithography/etching technology developed for the semiconductor industry;
  • Fabrication of mass spectroscopy, infrared microspectroscopy, and capillary-based-electrophoresis technologies for detection and testing of trace amounts of proteins and DNA in body fluids;
  • Exploitation of Coprocytobiology (CCB), paramagnetic immuno-immobilized particles, and other cell surface affinity-based technologies for the isolation and detection of exfoliated cells in body fluids.

The CBRG will work on initiatives to stimulate cooperative efforts for fostering technology development tailored towards early cancer detection. CBRG envisages a focus on technologies that have the ability to scan a large number of genetic and molecular alterations in large numbers of patient samples, rapidly and cost-effectively. A collaborative approach between academia, industry and other federal agencies, such as FDA, will be strongly encouraged to advance the translation of detection technology into clinical settings aimed at early detection. In pursuit of these goals, the different programs will work closely.

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