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Current Michigan Research

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MICHAEL A. TAINSKY, PhD Wayne State University, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI Lung Cancer Discovery Award Funded in partnership between the American Lung Association and the LUNGevity Foundation Developing Noninvasive Blood Test To Detect Early Lung Cancer Autoantibody Biomarkers For The Detection Of Lung Cancer. If lung cancer is detected at an early stage, there is a much greater chance that it can be treated. An inexpensive, noninvasive early detection test that could detect early stage lung cancer would reduce deaths from lung cancer. The researchers have developed a strategy for early detection of cancer that takes advantage of the responses of the human immune system to identify cancer-associated proteins that bind to antibodies present in the blood of cancer patients but not in the blood of healthy subjects or those with noncancerous diseases. They hope to develop a noninvasive screening blood test for early detection of lung cancer using these cancer-associated proteins. Along with blood from lung cancer patients, the blood from other cancer patients will be tested so that the researchers can identify markers for lung cancer that do not falsely identify other cancers or benign lung conditions as lung cancer. CARLOS SEREZANI, PhD University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI Senior Research Training Fellowship, Funded by the American Lung Association Gathering Facts About Inner Workings of Lung�s Immune System Modulation Of Alveolar Macrophage Antimicrobial Functions By Eicosanoids: Role Of Lipid Rafts And Signaling Molecules. More than four million people die from pneumonia each year worldwide, and in the United States, pneumonia is the number one cause of death from infection. This problem is further compounded by the increasing number of people with compromised immune systems and the growing number of infections caused by multi-drug resistant organisms. A type of immune cell called the alveolar macrophage (AM) is the resident defender of lung sterility, patrolling and clearing invading organisms by releasing compounds that affect ingestion and kill bacteria in the lung. In the absence of intact AM clearance, otherwise innocuous bacterial infections become lethal. The researchers will study an important cell-signaling mechanism that affects AM function, focusing on lipid mediators called eicosanoids. Understanding how these mediators affect the AMS defense against microbes may lead to development of treatments that could be of significant use in preventing pneumonia in people with damaged immune systems or enhancing the effectiveness of antimicrobial therapies.
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