Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Jefferson Scientists Find Way To See Breast Cancer Activity From Outside The Body

Date:
December 21, 2004
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
Using precise, radioactively labeled genetic probes, researchers at Jefferson Medical College have seen cancer gene activity from outside the body in laboratory mice. The probes, which work by attaching to genetic codes copied from an active cancer gene, may someday aid physicians and scientists in cancer detection and in determining the appropriate treatment for a cancer.

Using precise, radioactively labeled genetic probes, researchers at Jefferson Medical College have seen cancer gene activity from outside the body in laboratory mice. The probes, which work by attaching to genetic codes copied from an active cancer gene, may someday aid physicians and scientists in cancer detection and in determining the appropriate treatment for a cancer.

Related Articles


"Patients might be able to avoid a great deal of worry and unneeded surgery if cancer gene activity could be detected from outside the body," says Eric Wickstrom, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology and microbiology and immunology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and at Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center.

The scientists would like to detect cancerous breast tumors as early as possible, particularly before they begin to spread to other areas of the body. "We want to detect them before mammograms can find them," Dr. Wickstrom says. "We want to see whether a cancer gene is active, which will tell clinicians the best way to treat it, according to the cancer gene activity of the tumor. If we can see the hotspot of cancer gene activity before the tumor has formed, we can start to treat earlier." The researchers report their results in December in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

The gene, called cyclin D1, is turned on in the majority of breast cancers, he explains. The genetic probe, which is a DNA derivative, carries an attached radioactive label, and binds to cyclin D1 messenger RNA (mRNA). The latter is involved in translating DNA instructions and making proteins.

Dr. Wickstrom, Mathew Thakur, Ph.D., professor of radiology at Jefferson Medical College and their co-workers contend that the strategy – using genetic probes to visualize sites of cancer gene activity – can work for detecting the activity of other cancer genes in various types of tumors.

"The radioactive probes can help us identify the cancer cells at an early stage," says Dr. Thakur. "In this technology, we've shown the proof of principle. Several other cancers show characteristic activated genes that we might also be able to use for early diagnosis, such as pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer."

In 2004, approximately 40,000 women in this country will die from breast cancer. According to Dr. Wickstrom, clinical examination and mammography miss almost half of the breast cancers in women under 40, approximately one quarter of cancers in women ages 40 to 49 and one-fifth of cancers in women over age 50.

He notes that when suspect lumps are discovered, biopsies are necessary to tell if cancer exists or not. But when such lumps are removed after suspicious mammograms, two-thirds are found to be benign.

Dr. Wickstrom foresees this particular test for cyclin D1 – which he has used to detect estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers in mice – eventually being used in medical imaging centers. In addition to a mammogram, a woman could be tested with a genetic probe – another way, he says, to screen suspicious lumps. It could also be used to detect precancerous zones, as in ductal carcinoma in situ, and the spread and recurrence of cancer.

The researchers hope to conduct a clinical trial of their probes in suspected cases of breast cancer, and eventually, in other cancers as well. They are publishing their results testing for another cancer gene called MYC next month, and are studying other known cancer genes, such as K-RAS in pancreatic cancer.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Thomas Jefferson University. "Jefferson Scientists Find Way To See Breast Cancer Activity From Outside The Body." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220031054.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2004, December 21). Jefferson Scientists Find Way To See Breast Cancer Activity From Outside The Body. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220031054.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Jefferson Scientists Find Way To See Breast Cancer Activity From Outside The Body." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041220031054.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) — Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Doctor in Your Pocket Is Getting Smarter

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) — Mobile apps are turning smartphones into a personal doctors, with users able to measure heart rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar. But will it change our behaviour? Ivor Bennett reports from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

AbbVie Inks $21B Deal To Buy Cancer Drugmaker Pharmacyclics

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) — AbbVie announced Wednesday it will buy cancer drugmaker Pharmacyclics in a $21 billion deal. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) — Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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