Stopping Cancer Early – The Best Possible Investment


Posts Tagged ‘lung cancer’

Lung Cancer Early Detection Moves Forward at Canary Foundation

November 20, 2012

In keeping with Canary Foundation’s two-step process, the Canary Early Cancer Detection for Lung Cancer program’s goal is to develop a combined blood test and imaging approach to detect lethal lung cancer early, because early detection and treatment greatly enhance survival. The Canary Lung team is tackling the under-recognized area of lung cancer in non-smokers, seeking to understand why it develops and what the disease characteristics are in order to create screening tools for that disease.

Imaging for Lung Cancer Early Detection

CT screening* can reduce mortality from lung cancer, shown recently with the results of the National Lung Screening Trial, or NLST. Currently, when patients undergo a CT scan, it’s possible to see a problem spot, such as a lung nodule, but difficult to determine whether or not it is cancer. This presents a real opportunity to enhance the specificity of current imaging technology so it will be possible to determine if a spot isn’t or is cancer, and if so, whether it shows lethal characteristics.

Preliminary tests to improve the CT scan through molecular imaging have been very promising. A novel modified scan developed by Canary team members at Stanford uses new technologies to light up tumors so that their mass, and areas where they have spread, are clearly distinguishable in lung cancer patients. The technology will be tested for its specificity for early lung cancer (vs. benign conditions, such as scar tissue) in patients with lung nodules.

Biomarkers for Lung Cancer Early Detection

A blood biomarker test, used in combination with imaging, may also provide the specificity needed for accurate lung cancer screening. In line with Canary’s innovative and collaborative model, the Canary lung team has worked closely with five other organizations on a project to develop lung cancer biomarkers funded jointly by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The most promising biomarkers from a comparison study in Vancouver are being selected.

The next step is to conduct a validation study of these biomarkers on carefully collected samples from the PLCO (Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, Ovarian) Screening Trial, a large randomized trial designed and sponsored by the NCI, to determine the effects of screening on cancer-related mortality.

If these biomarkers perform well on the PLCO samples, they will proceed through progressively more rigorous validation studies. Ultimately, blood biomarkers will be tested in combination with imaging in people currently getting screened for lung cancer, to validate the best approach for detecting lung cancer early and potentially saving lives.

*A computed tomography (CT) scan uses X-rays to make detailed pictures of structures inside the body.

Canary Innovation: Measurable Progress, Real Results

June 4, 2012

Here at Canary Foundation, one of our highest priorities is building a culture of innovation, which we leverage to produce results, save time and lower costs. Both our scientific programs and administrative initiatives reflect these disciplines. We’re proud to report that this approach is helping Canary demonstrate real results in the work we do:

  • Canary Foundation developed the first test for a new lung cancer biomarker identified by the team. While tests exist for other biomarkers, there were none for this one, so the team created a test that is now available for any research institution to utilize.
  • Our prostate cancer clinical trial called PASS (Prostate Active Surveillance Study) is the only multisite clinical trial for men on active surveillance.  This way of organizing a trial is now being recognized as the most viable way of conducting trials to monitor men with localized, low-risk prostate cancer.
  • Canary Foundation’s Tissue Microarray (TMA) project has also led the way in scientific research. Digitized tissue images and a standardized way to conduct digital analyses were the innovations that provide researchers with an online way of sharing and analyzing data that is not the norm in scientific research.
  • The Canary Center at Stanford for cancer early detection is the first in the world studying the two-test process of identifying cancer through a blood test and pinpointing the location of the tumor through molecular imaging. More »