By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Four Philadelphia biomedical groups are sharing about $3.5 million in state grants to exploit breakthroughs against cancer.

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These grants, ranging from about three-quarters of a million dollars to one-million dollars come from the state’s share of the 2001 tobacco settlement, and go to researchers with life-saving and close-to-marketable ideas.  Two, from Thomas Jefferson University and the Wistar Institute involve isolating molecular or genetic markers for early diagnosis or treatment.  Jefferson’s Dr. Scott Waldman touts the marker GCC…

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“For this problem,” Waldman says. “The challenge has been to develop a technology that identifies early-stage colorectal cancer patients at a time before they develop recurrent disease.”

The other grants went to the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research for development of a liver cancer fighting molecule and U.E. Life Sciences for a no-touch breast cancer scanner.

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