Researcher Profile: Samir Hanash

Hanash Samir

Samir Hanash, MD, PhD, Professor of Clinical Cancer Prevention at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has been awarded a research grant by LUNGevity Foundation to develop a method for the early detection of lung cancer.

Dr. Hanash is collaborating on this project with two highly respected researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: Christopher Li, MD, PhD, in the Department of Epidemiology, and Gary Goodman, MD, in the Comprehensive Center for the Advancement of Scientific Strategies.

Far too many lung cancer patients are diagnosed after the disease has progressed to a point where there are not many treatment options remaining. In order to catch the disease earlier, we need a simple and accurate noninvasive test, such as a blood test, to detect lung cancer.

These scientists are collaborating to develop such tests. “We are building upon work that has already identified several biomarkers that could be used to test a patient’s blood for lung cancer,” explains Dr. Hanash. “We are leveraging our know-how and simultaneously working on three different ways to develop a blood test for the early detection of lung cancer.”

The success of the multidisciplinary team is largely based on their collective expertise and collaborative approach. Dr. Hanash, a molecular diagnostics authority, is spearheading the team’s efforts and is developing a blood test to distinguish between benign and malignant lesions identified by CT scans. Dr. Li, an expert in cancer epidemiology and prevention, is overseeing the studies to generate a blood test to identify "never-smokers" who are at increased risk of lung cancer. Dr. Goodman, a highly respected scientist specializing in thoracic oncology, is leading the team’s effort to create a blood test that can detect lung cancer before the onset of symptoms.

LUNGevity is proud to be investing in this exciting work. If even one of these blood tests becomes a reality, it will revolutionize the detection and treatment options for lung cancer patients around the world.