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DoD Awards Fox Chase Researcher $673K to Develop Lung Cancer Test

The story has been modified to include information on a separate grant awarded to Creatv MicroTech for research on which Fox Chase is collaborating.

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Fox Chase Cancer Center announced on Monday that Martin Edelman has received a $673,000 award from the US Department of Defense to develop a test for the early detection of early-stage lung cancer.

Edelman is chair of the department of hematology/oncology at Fox Chase and received the Translational Research Partnership Award from DoD in collaboration with Creatv Microtech, a privately held company specializing in microfabrication and biodetection.

Edelman will conduct research directed at using cancer associated macrophage-like cells, or CAMLs, to determine whether small or indeterminate lung nodules are cancerous or benign, Fox Chase said, noting that the National Lung Screening Trial demonstrated that CT screening of high-risk populations for lung cancer reduces the risk of dying from lung cancer but results in a high proportion of false positives.

The test being developed by Edelman is intended as a "simple minimally invasive test for CAMLs, which will serve as second-level screening for patients whose lung scans are inconclusive," he said in a statement. The study will be done at Fox Chase with patient enrollment at the Philadelphia VA expected to start at the end of 2018. Rohit Kumar and Anil Vachani are co-investigators on the study.

Lung cancer is the second-most diagnosed cancer with 154,000 people in the US dying from the disease each year, Fox Chase said.

Separately, Creatv MicroTech said that it received a $625,000 award from DoD to research giant circulating cells in peripheral blood for the noninvasive detection of lung cancer by differentiating malignant from benign pulmonary nodules detected by low-dose CT.

The three-year study will investigate blood samples from 1,250 patients at high risk for lung cancer based on their smoking history and occupational exposure to carcinogens, Creatv said. Fox Chase and the Philadelphia VA Hospital are collaborating with the company on the project.