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Institution: California Institute of Technology
Investigator(s): Yingxin Deng, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2017 (Cycle 26) Grant #: 26FT-0031 Award: $118,800
Subject Area: Early Diagnosis of Tobacco-Related Cancer
Award Type: Postdoctoral Fellowship Awards

Initial Award Abstract

The worldwide tobacco problem is immense. Smoking causes 30% of all cancer deaths, including nearly 90% of deaths from lung cancer. The poor survival is largely due to the lack of early screenable biomarkers, which leads to detection of the cancer at an advanced and typically untreatable stage. A diagnostic method that can simultaneously detect DNA and miRNA cancer biomarkers may offer a sensitive and selective detection of tobacco related lung cancer for early prevention and treatment. A multitude of biomarkers have been connected to tumorogenesis, yet abnormal DNA methyltransferase activity and specific miRNA biomarkers are often linked to the development and progression of lung cancer. Here, I will describe an electrochemical biosensor that can detect a DNA methyltransferase biomarker and a miRNA biomarker at the early stage of tobacco use related lung cancer. The low-cost, easy-to-use, highly sensitive and selective biosensor shows great potential as early diagnostic tool for lung cancer.