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Lung Cancer Laboratory Research

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At The Lung Cancer Center at The Valley Hospital, we strongly believe that further innovations and breakthroughs need to be investigated for this deadly disease. To this end, Valley physicians and full-time scientists are working in the newly constructed Center for Cancer Research and Genomic Medicine, a state-of-the-art cancer research laboratory.

The Center for Cancer Research and Genomic Medicine, consists of a newly constructed, state-of-the-art cancer research laboratory (below) where lung cancer research is performed.

Laboratory research performed at The Lung Cancer Center focuses on the genetic changes that occur in lung cancer patients as a result of their tumors, and how to detect these changes. Valley investigators have been able to detect specific genetic changes in blood samples from lung cancer patients, which change back to normal after the lung cancer is removed. The ultimate goal of this research is the development of a “blood test” for lung cancer.

It is well accepted that all lung cancers are not alike, and some are clearly more aggressive than others. Knowing which lung cancers are aggressive and which are slow-growing and potentially not harmful is another question which Valley researchers have asked. Our researchers are identifying changes in the genetic makeup that characterize aggressive cancers, versus slow-growing ones.

In order to support this research, a lung cancer Tissue Bank has been up and running at Valley for several years, and contains over 400 specimens. This Tissue Bank stores donated lung cancer tissue and blood samples from lung cancer patients who want to participate in our research efforts. Patients are enthusiastic about the opportunity to actually make a contribution toward solving many of the riddles associated with lung cancer management, and potentially affect the lives of future lung cancer patients in a positive way.

Research Scientist David Chang, Ph.D.

Ongoing Research Projects

  • Gene expression patterns in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of lung cancer patients. The goal of the project is to identify a marker for lung cancer based on the genetic makeup of circulating immune cells. The hope is to define a “blood test” for lung cancer.
  • Gene expression patterns in non-small cell lung cancer. The goal of this project is to evaluate the gene expression of lung cancers when stratified by factors indicating tumor aggressiveness. This may help identify subsets of tumors which may possess a more indolent clinical course.

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