Grant ID RP140132
Awarded On August 20, 2014
Title Towards Point-of-Care Nucleic Acid Cancer Diagnostics
Program Academic Research
Award Mechanism Individual Investigator
Institution/Organization Rice University
Principal Investigator/Program Director David Zhang
Cancer Sites All Sites
Contracted Amount $900,000
Lay Summary

Cancer is fundamentally caused by changes (mutations) in DNA, which cause cells to go haywire and divide uncontrollably. Like any other disease, cancer, if detected early, can be much more effectively treated than if diagnosed after overt clinical symptoms show up. The logical thing to do to mitigate the ill effects of cancer on humanity would thus be to employ frequent and non-invasive screening, based on detection of cancer-specific DNA. But this turns out to be a very difficult technical problem -- it can be done, but it currently requires equipment with six-figure price tags. There are three major difficulties in detecting cancer-specific DNA that necessitate the equipment: specificity, ...

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