Diagnosing Lung Cancer Noninvasively—DNA mutations cause cancer and are signs that genome sequence integrity has been lost. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has awarded Jan Vijg, Ph.D., and Simon Spivack, M.D., M.P.H., a five-year, $3.3 million grant to assess genome integrity in normal human cells. The researchers will use a sequencing-based assay they recently developed for detecting most if not all types of mutations using bulk DNA and single cell-based approaches. They will use the assay to measure the mutagenic effects of tobacco smoke, to see if mutations in blood or buccal (cheek) mucosal cells reflect mutations that are found in lungs of smokers and nonsmokers, and are associated with lung cancer. The work could, for the first time, allow someone’s risk for lung cancer to be assessed noninvasively, using sequencing-based assays on blood or buccal cells. Dr. Vijg is professor and chair of genetics, and the Lola and Saul Kramer Chair in Molecular Genetics at Einstein. Dr. Spivack is professor of medicine, of epidemiology and of genetics at Einstein, and chief of pulmonary medicine at Einstein-Montefiore.
Thursday, November 08, 2018