Biomarkers for detection of breast cancer and multiple myeloma using liquid biopsy

Blood tests are highly sought after to enable earlier cancer detection. We previously developed a blood test for breast cancer that is in prospective clinical study in Alberta, Manchester (UK), Oklahoma (USA) and South Korea. The proposed project will investigate some clinical samples collected through this work to support the primarily focus of identifying biomarkers for a new cancer, multiple myeloma (MM). MM has a need for new monitoring approaches as it accounts for 10% of hematologic malignancies and is hard to cure, with a low five-year survival rate. MM is characterized by cancerous plasma cells in the bone marrow (BM). Invasive BM aspirates are the primary method of diagnosing the disease and following response to therapy. In this study, we will evaluate patient samples (BM and blood) to identify potential MM biomarkers, test a new cell culture model, and validate results in patient samples. These studies will allow partners to participate in publishing research study results, as well as potentially develop a new clinical laboratory tests for MM. This could enable earlier detection and provide a method to determine response to therapy, resulting in increased survival, as well as enhanced quality of life through optimizing treatment and monitoring recurrence.

Intern: 
Sungwoo Ahn
Faculty Supervisor: 
Ernesta Paola Neri
Province: 
Alberta
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