Nav: Home

Detecting blood clot risk using biomarkers

March 15, 2017

Cancer is one of the hardest medical conditions to overcome, and for those who do so, the battle often does not stop at remission. Many cancers predispose patients to develop blood clots, particularly patients who are diagnosed at a late stage, which often complicates their treatment and reduces survival rates.

These blood clots can become dislodged, and if a clot travels to the lungs, it can cause immediate distress and puts a patient at a high risk of death. In the United States, blood clots affect between 300,000 and 600,000 people each year and approximately 60,000 to 100,000 of those individuals will die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) aim to increase survival rates among these patients by identifying new and validating existing biomarkers, or substances in the blood, that indicate if a patient is at high risk for developing a clot. Patients at BMC who are newly diagnosed with cancer will be asked if they would like to donate their blood for the study. The researchers will test the blood samples for biomarkers that may indicate whether a person has a high risk for blood clots.

This collection of blood samples will be part of a comprehensive study of thrombosis biomarkers from populations who are currently underrepresented in biobanking projects and clinical research studies. Approximately 59 percent of BMC patients come from underserved populations. Many of BMC's patients present to the hospital with more advanced disease due to challenging access to health care or cancer screening.

"Identifying and standardizing biomarkers may provide clinicians with important information to improve patient care," said Chris Andry, MPhil, PhD, vice chair for operations and management and administrative director for pathology and laboratory medicine at BMC, who will lead the study in collaboration with co-investigators Debbie Stearns-Kurosawa, PhD, associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and co-director of the Coagulation Research Laboratory (BUSM), and Mark Sloan, MD, a physician in hematology and oncology at BMC and assistant professor of medicine at BUSM.

Additionally, it is challenging for researchers to know if they have accurately measured the biomarkers, taking into account all the variables such as time to assay or temperature changes that may impact how the blood markers are measured. This study will deliberately evaluate these variables to assist with guideline development for hospital laboratories to use when testing these biomarkers.

"Once we see how these biomarkers stand against time, we can determine appropriate timelines for clinical assessments to ensure that they are as accurate as possible in identifying risk," said Andry, who also is associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at BUSM. "This information, in combination with patient education, has the potential to increase survival rates by being able to proactively treat these patients for blood clots."
This project is funded by NCI Contract No. HHSN261200800001E.

Boston University Medical Center

Related Cancer Articles:

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.
More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.
New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.
American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.
Oncotarget: Cancer pioneer employs physics to approach cancer in last research article
In the cover article of Tuesday's issue of Oncotarget, James Frost, MD, PhD, Kenneth Pienta, MD, and the late Donald Coffey, Ph.D., use a theory of physical and biophysical symmetry to derive a new conceptualization of cancer.
Health indicators for newborns of breast cancer survivors may vary by cancer type
In a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed health indicators for children born to young breast cancer survivors in North Carolina.
Few women with history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer take a recommended genetic test
More than 80 percent of women living with a history of breast or ovarian cancer at high-risk of having a gene mutation have never taken the test that can detect it.
Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
More Cancer News and Cancer Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.