Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Technique Detects Specific Chromosomal Damage, May Indicate Lung Cancer Risk

Date:
September 5, 2007
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
A new technique could pave the way toward screening people at risk for lung cancer for the genetic changes that may foreshadow malignancies, according to a new article. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., and kills more people than the next three most common cancers--colon, breast and prostate--combined. While it is well-established that smoking is the primary risk factor for lung cancer, a number of lung cancer patients have never smoked.

A new technique could pave the way toward screening people at risk for lung cancer for the genetic changes that may foreshadow malignancies, researchers from the University of Colorado say.

Related Articles


"The most successful way to reduce mortality in cancer is prevention," said researcher Wilbur A. Franklin, M.D., Professor of Pathology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. "Our goal would be to develop screening techniques for lung lesions that could enable us to identify precancerous changes."

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., and kills more people than the next three most common cancers--colon, breast and prostate--combined. While it is well-established that smoking is the primary risk factor for lung cancer, a number of lung cancer patients have never smoked. Additionally, quitting smoking only gradually reduces the risk of lung cancer because much of the genetic damage done by tobacco is irreversible.

Recent research suggests that the genetic changes that accompany lung cancer are not random, but are associated with specific chromosomal instabilities that may be indicative of future carcinomas. Researcher Marileila Varella-Garcia, M.D., also of UCHSC, targeted these non-random chromosomal changes in the study.

The investigators used a technique called spectral karyotyping (SKY) to examine the bronchial epithelium (BE) of 71 subjects--14 patients with lung cancer, 43 smokers at high risk for developing lung cancer and 14 healthy non-smokers--in the hope of identifying underlying genetic changes that might be hallmarks for cancer.

"It is critically important that we thoroughly understand the nature and timing of the cellular and genetic effects of tobacco smoke on BE in order to identify biomarkers and devise intervention strategies that might reduce the persisting morbidity and mortality from lung cancer," said Dr. Varella-Garcia.

The researchers found a marked difference between the chromosomal abnormality index (CAI) of never-smokers and that of high-risk smokers and patients with lung cancer.

"There's a tremendous amount of chromosomal damage in smokers who don't yet have cancer," said Dr. Franklin. "Chromosomal abnormalities were observed in 82 percent of high-risk smokers and in all patients with carcinoma, regardless of their self-reported tobacco exposure." Patients with cancer and high-risk smokers had nearly 23 and 15 times more chromosomal abnormalities, respectively, than never-smokers.

The most common changes among patients with cancer and high-risk smokers were gains on chromosomes 5, 7, 8 and 18.

The results from SKY were confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The FISH technique offers a less comprehensive view of genetic changes, but unlike SKY, can detect genetic changes in interphase cells, which are readily available in sputum samples.

"Whereas SKY is not a practical tool to directly apply to sputum, it does identify candidate chromosomal sequences that could improve the sensitivity of a FISH probe set for sputum screening and risk assessment," wrote Dr. Franklin. "Improvement in sensitivity and perhaps automated processing and analysis could move a FISH-based assay toward clinical application."

The researchers noted that their pilot study could not affirmatively determine whether the changes were predictive of eventual cancer, but their data point to an important avenue for future research. "It will be necessary to study larger cohorts for a longer interval," they wrote, concluding, "SKY FISH is a feasible technique for comprehensive evaluation of the chromosomal changes in nonmalignant bronchial epithelial cells of high-risk individuals."

The study appears in the September 1, 2007 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "New Technique Detects Specific Chromosomal Damage, May Indicate Lung Cancer Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831093916.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2007, September 5). New Technique Detects Specific Chromosomal Damage, May Indicate Lung Cancer Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831093916.htm
American Thoracic Society. "New Technique Detects Specific Chromosomal Damage, May Indicate Lung Cancer Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070831093916.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Hugging It Out Could Help You Ward Off A Cold

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) Carnegie Mellon researchers found frequent hugs can help people avoid stress-related illnesses. 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