Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Test Can Reduce Recurrence Of Breast Cancer

Date:
February 28, 2008
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
A new test that examines large sections of the sentinel lymph node for genes expressed by breast cancer could reduce the risk of recurrence and multiple surgeries, doctors say.

The test is highly sensitive because it examines the tissue with molecular tools according to Dr. Zixuan Wang.
Credit: Image courtesy of Medical College of Georgia

A new test that examines large sections of the sentinel lymph node for genes expressed by breast cancer could reduce the risk of recurrence and multiple surgeries, doctors say.

The GeneSearch Breast Lymph Node Assay, manufactured by Veridex, L.L.C., a Johnson & Johnson company, is being used at the Medical College of Georgia to examine half of the tissue in the sentinel lymph node, the first place breast cancer typically spreads. The sample represents more than 10 times the amount of tissue examined in traditional biopsies.

And because the test examines the tissue with molecular tools, it is more sensitive, says Dr. Zixuan (Zoe) Wang, molecular biologist and scientific director of MCG’s Georgia Esoteric and Molecular Diagnostic Labs, L.L.C.

“When we look at the tissue with the GeneSearch test, we are looking for excessive amounts of mamoglobin and cytokeratin 19, both genes that are expressed more in breast cancer tissue,” Dr. Wang says. “If those genes are present in excessive amounts, we know the cancer has metastasized.”

Done during a lumpectomy, the GeneSearch test uses molecular diagnostic methods to examine more tissue than traditional sentinel node biopsies, reducing the chance of false negative results, says Dr. Stephen Peiper, chair of the MCG Department of Pathology and Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Clinician and Scientist.

The sentinel node, located in the armpit, filters fluid from the breast.

“During a traditional sentinel node biopsy, a surgeon would remove a node, then the pathologist would cut that section in half and cut that section to a quarter of the original sample size,” Dr. Peiper says. “They then would cut wafer-thin slices from those sections, freeze and stain them, and look for cancer cells under a microscope. This technique, called frozen section, would be done during the lumpectomy surgery. If the tissue is positive for cancer cells, the surgeon removes more nodes from the patient, but if it is negative, the surgery is over.”

The problem with that type of test, he says, can come when pathologists review more tissue slices during a confirmatory second test, called a permanent section and done a day later.

Permanent section tests are done the day after surgery because the tissue is set with a fixative that causes proteins in cells to harden for better examination.

“The cancer cells may not have been present in the part of the node that we looked at the day before in the frozen section,” Dr. Peiper says. “But on the second day, we may find them in the other section. We perform both the traditional test and the new GeneSearch molecular test in parallel to provide the best care for our patients.”

The larger the sample, he says, the better the chance of catching the cancer during the intraoperative test.

“If there are small amount s of cancer cells in the whole node, we may or may not see those with the traditional tests, because we only examine a small section of tissue,” he says. “With this technology, we increase the chance of detecting them.”

Nearly 20 percent of women with negative nodes confirmed by a traditional biopsy end up having a recurrence and metastasis, Dr. Peiper says.

“There is a higher false-negative rate with traditional sentinel node biopsies,” says Dr. Scott Lind, professor and chief of the MCG Sectionof Surgical Oncology. “If that happens, the patient has to come back in for another surgery to take out more lymph nodes that have likely harbored the breast cancer cells.”

In clinical trials, the new test correctly identified more than 95 percent of patients whose cancer had spread to their lymph nodes, according to Veridex, L.L.C.

"This will help us provide better care to patients and better overall treatment,” Dr. Lind says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Test Can Reduce Recurrence Of Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080225122319.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2008, February 28). Test Can Reduce Recurrence Of Breast Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080225122319.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Test Can Reduce Recurrence Of Breast Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080225122319.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. 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