The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) inaugurated a new program in July that will integrate the study of all proteins in living cells (or proteomics) with patient care.
"This new approach to treatment holds the potential to revolutionize cancer detection and care," said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. The agency collaboration is being led by Emanuel Petricoin, PhD, of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and Lance Liotta, MD, PhD, of NCI’s Center for Cancer Research.
The Clinical Proteomics Program will be funded for 3 years at $1.1 million per year. Drs. Petricoin and Liotta have identified more than 130 proteins in cancers of the breast, ovary, prostate, and esophagus that change in amount as the cells in these tissues grow abnormally, which may provide new means of diagnosing and treating cancers earlier. The NCI has recently begun clinical trials using proteomics to help make decisions about the course of a patient’s experimental treatment.