UCLA is awarded $5 million to develop tools to detect lung cancer earlier
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Researchers from the UCLA School of Dentistry and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have been awarded $5 million over five years from the National Cancer Institute to develop liquid biopsy tools for testing individuals who could have lung cancer — the leading cause of cancer death in both U.S. men and women. The award, one of only six given in the nation, will support further development of the tools to improve methods for early detection of lung cancer.

Today’s standard of care in diagnosing lung cancer involves a low-dose computed tomography scan of the lungs, evaluating whether there are what are called “indeterminate lung nodules” and following these nodules over time to assess whether they begin to look suspicious for lung cancer. The challenge of evaluating indeterminate lung nodules is differentiating between individuals with a low likelihood of lung cancer who may benefit from future scans and individuals harboring lung cancer, who may require lifesaving invasive procedures.

With a five-year lung cancer survival rate of only 18 percent, early detection is critical for those individuals at risk. There is a broad, unmet need for a noninvasive, inexpensive test to detect lung lesions that can be used

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