Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fighting Breast Cancer At The Molecular Level

Date:
February 8, 2001
Source:
Louisiana State University
Summary:
Researchers from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and the Baton Rouge General Medical Center have recently joined forces to find new ways to fight breast cancer. Using advanced molecular-biology techniques, the scientists hope to develop tests that could detect individual cancer cells, allowing doctors to diagnose cancer long before tumors are large enough to be felt or seen on mammograms.

Researchers from the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and the Baton Rouge General Medical Center have recently joined forces to find new ways to fight breast cancer.

Using advanced molecular-biology techniques, the scientists hope to develop tests that could detect individual cancer cells, allowing doctors to diagnose cancer long before tumors are large enough to be felt or seen on mammograms. This early detection would allow treatment to begin much sooner; ideally, before the cancer has metastasized, or spread into other vital organs. The researchers also hope the tests will enable them to evaluate tissues before and after cancer treatment and compare the results. In this way, they could monitor patients’ responses to therapy. The tests could also detect patient relapses much earlier.

The diagnostic tests the researchers are trying to develop include blood and bone-marrow tests, as well as tests on tissue from lymph-node biopsies.

The project is under the supervision of Gus Kousoulas, Ph.D., director of the Molecular Medicine Program at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Kousoulas said diagnostic tests for cancer, such as blood tests, would look at pieces of human RNA, or ribonucleic acid. Since cancer is a genetic disease, the genetic code of RNA is affected when cancer occurs.

Cancer first appears in DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, then it is passed onto RNA, then into proteins, which are the building blocks of cells. It is at this cellular level that most patients are diagnosed with cancer, and by that time, tumors have formed and most cancers have spread, Kousoulas said. By catching cancer in its initial stages, doctors would be able to provide treatment much earlier and have a much better chance of preventing spreading.

The researchers believe the diagnostic tests will identify cancer by detecting the presence of certain RNA markers that are unique to breast-cancer victims. To find these markers, the scientists are testing patients who have, or are suspected to have, breast cancer. Once a tumor and affected tissues are removed from a patient, they are sent to the LSU Vet School, which analyzes the genes and searches for breast-cancer-specific markers. There is already such a test for prostate cancer, Kousoulas said.

The project was initiated by Peter J. Bostick, M.D., a surgical oncologist and adjunct associate professor of medicine at the LSU Vet School, and Floyd Roberts, M.D., director of Baton Rouge General Medical Center’s Graduate Medical Education and Research programs. Also involved in the project is Richard F. Burroughs, M.D., director of the Baton Rouge General Regional Cancer Center.

Initial funding of $80,000, as well as a commitment for additional matching funds, has been awarded to Baton Rouge General Medical Center by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation Helen S. Barnes Fund, the Lamar Family Fund and the General Health System Foundation to fund the breast cancer research program with the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. The LSU Vet School is involved because its molecular medicine program works to enhance research in comparative medicine, which is the method of comparing medicine for humans and animals.

Along with directing the molecular medicine program, Kousoulas established and directs the Gene Probes and Expression Systems Laboratory, or GeneLab, in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology. The GeneLab works to train students, faculty and staff in the effective use of new molecular technologies. Kousoulas is also a professor of veterinary virology and biotechnology at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Louisiana State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Louisiana State University. "Fighting Breast Cancer At The Molecular Level." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 February 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010205075458.htm>.
Louisiana State University. (2001, February 8). Fighting Breast Cancer At The Molecular Level. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010205075458.htm
Louisiana State University. "Fighting Breast Cancer At The Molecular Level." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010205075458.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins