Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biomarker Discovery Bodes Well For Better Cancer Diagnostics, Pharmacologist Says

Date:
May 2, 2007
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
A pharmacologist says that new findings suggesting a genetic marker can help distinguish between chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer and gauge who will do well with cancer treatment have important implications for improved cancer diagnostics and tumor profiling.

While new findings from Ohio State University scientists suggest a genetic marker that could help distinguish between chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer and gauge who will do well with cancer treatment, a pharmacologist at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson in Philadelphia sees the discovery as much more.

The researchers have identified "a new level of biological regulation" and potentially an improved way to profile tumors, says Scott Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, who co-wrote an editorial about the study appearing May 2, 2007 in the journal JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"The findings are significant because they seem to represent a large part of the machinery in the cell that regulates the processing of information from chromosome and gene to the protein machinery that makes the cell run," says Dr. Waldman. "No one knew about this intermediate level of regulation in every cell in the body. It's part of the cell's normal machinery that regulates in part how cells become specialized."

The Ohio State team found that preliminary evidence suggesting that the expression pattern of microRNA (miRNAs) -- small pieces of noncoding genetic material -- may be useful in distinguishing between chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer and may be able to tell which pancreatic cancer patients will live longer than others. In humans, aberrant expression of miRNAs contributes to cancer by either turning on cancer-causing genes or by inhibiting tumor-blocking genes.

As a result, Dr. Waldman notes, the findings also indicate that these miRNAs can serve as diagnostic markers. "Because they are involved in processes underlying cancer, these specific miRNAs mediate the disease process in different types of cells, such as pancreas or lung, for example," he says. "There apparently is a profile of miRNAs that identify pancreatic cancer cells from other types. It appears that in some cases, there are common miRNAs, and for others there are miRNAs that can distinguish different types of cancer. A tumor can be profiled based on miRNAs."

MiRNAs cans serve as prognostic markers as well. "They apparently distinguish normal pancreas tissue from inflamed tissue from cancer, and this paper shows miRNAs correlate with who will do well and who won't," Dr. Waldman explains. "Presumably, it follows that miRNAs could be predictive markers, which could have implications for therapy.

"On top of this, there is a new layer of biology that is identifying novel mechanisms involved in the causation and progression of cancer, and which identifies new potential molecular targets that we can direct therapeutics against."

Yet, he cautions, "There is a great distance between biomarker discovery and application in the doctor's office." Validating such biomarkers require "well designed, prospective, multicenter clinical trials that need to show not only what the biomarkers are supposed to show, but also that they affect patient outcome."


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. "Biomarker Discovery Bodes Well For Better Cancer Diagnostics, Pharmacologist Says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 May 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070501161403.htm>.
Thomas Jefferson University. (2007, May 2). Biomarker Discovery Bodes Well For Better Cancer Diagnostics, Pharmacologist Says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070501161403.htm
Thomas Jefferson University. "Biomarker Discovery Bodes Well For Better Cancer Diagnostics, Pharmacologist Says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070501161403.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How A 'Rule Of Thumb' Could Slow Down Drinking

How A 'Rule Of Thumb' Could Slow Down Drinking

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) A study suggests people who follow a "rule of thumb" when pouring wine dispense less than those who don't have a particular amount in mind. 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