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Duke Team Finds New Clues to How Cancer Spreads

June 27, 2011 -- Andrew J. Armstrong, MD, ScM, of Duke University Medical Center led a team of investigators to a discovery that identifies new proteins found in the blood of prostate and breast cancer patients. For patients, this discovery may increase the sensitivity and accuracy of prognostic tests. Secondly, it suggests targets for therapies for metastatic cancer, allowing physicians to treat each patient individually and in relation to their specific disease characteristics.

The capability of identifying these new proteins stems from work on circulating tumor cell (CTC) technology, which PCF supported with an initial $2.25 million investment. CTC technology can identify one cancerous cell out of one billion blood cells, creating a roadmap for better diagnostics. These newly identified proteins showcase how cancerous cells may escape from original tumors and metastasize to other parts of the body, leading to a deeper understanding of how cancer cells respond or progress with treatment.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation has funded Young Investigator recipient Dr. Armstrong since 2008. Read the media release published by Duke University Medical Center here.

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