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Blood-based screening and personalized treatment of malignant mesothelioma

The aim of this project is to develop a new screening approach for early detection and monitoring of malignant mesothelioma, using a blood test. Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer of the thin membranes lining the lungs and abdomen.

The project also aims to evaluate experimental precision oncology using patient data from blood and tumor samples. Precision oncology is a technique that helps physicians to create personalized cancer treatments, tailored to a patient’s unique needs.

The researchers will recruit 50-70 participants with malignant mesothelioma, and will collect both blood and tumor samples. In the first phase of the study, researchers will develop a blood test for early detection and monitoring of malignant mesothelioma. The second phase is to use cell mutations identified in the first phase to evaluate precision oncology therapies, to explore the potential for customized treatment options.

Developing an early screening tool is very important, as malignant mesothelioma is typically diagnosed at late stage, meaning that most patients die within two to three years following diagnosis. If the research is successful, the blood test could lead to earlier diagnoses and better treatment outcomes.

Principal Applicant: Colin Collins (UBC/Vancouver Prostate Centre)
Funding Awarded: $150,000 (Specific Priorities)

Competition Year: 2019 Asset type: Research