Martin Edelman Receives Grant from U.S. Department of Defense to Develop Improved Lung Cancer Screening

PHILADELPHIA (August 20, 2018)— Martin J. Edelman, MD, chair of the department of Hematology/Oncology, has received a Translational Research Partnership Award in collaboration with Creatv MicroTech,  from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop a test for early detection of early stage lung cancer.

The National Lung Screening Trial demonstrated that CT screening high-risk populations for lung cancer while reducing the risk of death from lung cancer also results in a high proportion of false positives. His new study will focus on using cancer associated macrophage-like (CAML) cells— specialized immune cells found in patients with a variety of cancers— to determine whether small or “indeterminate” lung nodules are cancerous or benign.

“Low-dose CT scans have the potential to dramatically lower lung cancer death rates, but there are too many indeterminate cases and false positives,” Edelman said. “We are working on a simple, minimally invasive test for CAMLs, which will serve as second-level screening for patients whose lung scans are inconclusive.”  The study will be done at Fox Chase and the Philadelphia VA and is expected to begin patient enrollment towards the end of this year.  Drs. Rohit Kumar and Anil Vachani are co-investigators on the study.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in men and women, and is the second-most diagnosed type of cancer. An estimated 154,000 people in the United States die from the disease each year.

The grant provides Dr. Edelman’s group with $673,000 to support this research.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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