Southwest Michigan Innovation Center

Imagine catching cancer cells before they become tumors.

That’s the kind of life-saving scenario the scientists at the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center imagine every day. Equipped with the innovative Waters Protein Profiling System, much of their research revolves around discovering protein biomarkers in cancer biology and other diseases.

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How does looking for biomarkers help cure disease? A good example is transition cell carcinoma (TCC). When these cells are present, the physician knows the patient has cancer but doesn’t know when or which cells will fully metastasize into devastating tumors. Because in pathology tests, cells that look aggressive may in fact not turn malignant. And cells that look passive may indeed be the ones that turn aggressive, evasive and into tumors.

But biomarker research can help identify the specific traits that indicate progress of the disease. Once you know that, you can create a diagnostic failsafe. Perhaps something as simple to conduct as a urine test that alerts the doctor to malevolent protein behavior requiring prompt surgery. Tumor is removed post-haste. Patient lives to a ripe old age. Imagine that.

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