Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blood DNA Can Be Early Predictor Of Liver Cancer

Date:
April 17, 2007
Source:
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a means for early detection of liver cancer. Using DNA isolated from serum samples as a baseline biomarker, the scientists examined changes in certain tumor suppressor genes that have been associated with the development of liver carcinomas. This is the first study to prospectively examine potential biomarkers for early detection of liver cancer in high-risk populations.

Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health have discovered a means for early detection of liver cancer. Using DNA isolated from serum samples as a baseline biomarker, the scientists examined changes in certain tumor suppressor genes that have been associated with the development of liver carcinomas. This is the first study to prospectively examine potential biomarkers for early detection of liver cancer in high-risk populations, including those with chronic hepatitis B and C virus infections.

Since most hepatocellular or liver carcinomas (HCC) are diagnosed at an advanced and usually fatal stage, the development of screening methods for early detection is critical. HCC is one of the most common and rapidly fatal human malignancies. Worldwide, the almost 500,000 new cases and nearly equivalent number of fatalities illustrates the lack of effective therapeutic alternatives for this disease.

The Mailman School researchers and colleagues studied the blood of patients enrolled in a cancer screening program in Taiwan, who provided repeated blood samples prior to diagnosis. A total of 12,000 males and over 11,900 females recruited in 1991-2 are being followed. Screenings performed by the team of Mailman School scientists found changes associated with cancer in serum DNA, presumably released from the tumor, one to nine years before actual clinical diagnosis.

Certain clinical risk factors such as age and hepatitis B and C virus infections, are well documented risk factors for the development of HCC. According to the study findings, these factors coupled with smoking and alcohol status, and alterations found in this study in serum DNA, resulted in an overall predictive accuracy of 89% for detection of HCC.

"These are extremely encouraging findings," says Regina Santella, PhD, professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, director of the Columbia's NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan, and principal investigator on the research. "Having the tools to identify hepatocellular carcinoma at earlier stages, is truly a breakthrough for addressing the challenges that result from this highly lethal form of cancer."

Dr. Santella and the team of researchers previously found that several environmental factors including aflatoxin B1, a dietary mold contaminant sometimes found in peanuts and corn; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, ubiquitous environmental contaminants; and 4-aminobiphenyl, a carcinogen found in cigarette smoke, are also associated with the development of HCC. While HCC incidence is highest in East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, it is also increasing in the U.S primarily as a result of HCV infection.

"We are not only very excited about what this means in terms of early detection for hepatocellular cancer but optimistic about how it could also be applied to other cancers," observes Dr. Santella. The full study findings are published in the April 15, 2007 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Blood DNA Can Be Early Predictor Of Liver Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070415110044.htm>.
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. (2007, April 17). Blood DNA Can Be Early Predictor Of Liver Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070415110044.htm
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "Blood DNA Can Be Early Predictor Of Liver Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070415110044.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 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
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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:
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