Using a New Biomarker in the Blood to Detect Cancers in People with Inherited Mutations

Research Cycle:
Plan and Prepare

Lead Researcher:
Karlene Cimprich

Type of Research:
Basic Science,Cancer Screening and Prevention

Using a New Biomarker in the Blood to Detect Cancers in People with Inherited Mutations

Background

People with inherited mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2 and other genes have a very high risk for cancer. Cancers caused by a mutation may have high levels of genome instability, which may be identifiable through blood tests. Currently, researchers are studying ways to detect DNA from tumors (known as circulating tumor DNA, or CTDNA) as a way to detect cancer or to find biomarkers that may guide treatment. 

Study aims

We have discovered a biomarker that may be found in cancers of people with an inherited mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 and possibly other genes. We hope to use this finding to develop a blood test for the early detection of cancers in people with BRCA mutations.

Furthermore, we are developing a process to make these markers more sensitive than other blood tests focused on early detection of cancer.

FORCE and ABOUT Network role

Our initial planning call with FORCE advocates helped us to refine our project specific aims. Should our letter of intent be accepted we would like to continue to meet with FORCE to help refine our study design and to plan the final submission. If our project is funded, we would like to continue to work with FORCE on to best use our discovery to develop a useful test to screen for cancer. 

This research is relevant for:

People who test positive for an inherited mutation

People at high risk for cancer

People with a family history of cancer