Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hereditary colon cancer syndrome marked by abnormally dense blood vessel growth in mouth

Date:
June 23, 2011
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
Researchers have found that a hereditary colon cancer syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis, is associated with abnormally dense blood vessel growth in the skin lining the mouth.

A team led by Johns Hopkins researchers has found that a hereditary colon cancer syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), is associated with abnormally dense blood vessel growth in the skin lining the mouth.

The finding, reported in the June issue of Familial Cancer, could lead to a quick screening test for FAP, which is normally diagnosed with expensive DNA tests and colonoscopies, and sometimes goes unnoticed until cancer develops.

"This higher blood vessel density in the mouth may reflect an abnormal state of cells lining the digestive tract -- including the oral cavity -- that predisposes people to colorectal cancer and precancerous polyps," says Francis M. Giardiello, M.D., Johns G. Rangos Sr. Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins and director of Hopkins' Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Program.

People who have even one copy of the mutant gene that causes FAP develop hundreds of precancerous colorectal polyps, also known as adenomas, in their teens. Most have their colons removed after diagnosis to avoid what would otherwise be a near-100 percent risk of colon cancer by middle age.

In 2003, Italian researchers reported that a similar genetic condition, hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), was linked to a greater complexity of blood vessels in the oral mucosa -- the skin that lines the mouth. Daniel L. Edelstein, a senior research program coordinator at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says he read the Italian report and brought it to Giardiello's attention.

Edelstein also contacted Jessica C. Ramella-Roman, an expert on bio-optics systems at The Catholic University of America. "She developed a cameralike device that enabled a direct and relatively automated measurement of this vascular density in the lining of the mouth," he says.

Using Ramella-Roman's device and associated image-analysis software, the researchers scanned a two-centimeter-square patch of oral mucosa inside the lower lip of 33 patients with FAP. All 33 were enrolled in the Johns Hopkins Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Registry. The team also scanned a similar tissue sample of 50 control subjects who were matched for age and other variables but had no personal or family history of colorectal cancer or adenoma(s). Each subject was screened to determine the density of visible blood vessels in their lower lip -- a measure they called the "oral mucosal vascular density (OMVD)."

"The OMVD measures were significantly higher in FAP patients than in healthy controls," says Giardiello. "About 90 percent of FAP patients in this sample had OMVD values above a certain threshold, and about 90 percent of controls were below that threshold, so in principle, we could use that threshold for screening purposes." Differences in the OMVD results were unrelated to age or gender, according to the researchers.

To further investigate the technique's screening potential, the researchers gave the OMVD test to five of Giardiello's patients who had multiple polyps but no detectable mutation for FAP or HNPCC on genetic tests. "They might have other, unknown gene mutations predisposing them to polyp formation, or they might have FAP or HNPCC mutations that somehow weren't picked up in the tests," said Giardiello.

All five of these patients had OMVD scores above the high-risk threshold. "The results suggest that this high-OMVD condition may be an alternative marker for colon cancer risk, even when we can't find a gene mutation," Giardiello says.

Tumors typically promote the spread of new blood vessels in their vicinity to maintain their high growth rates. FAP mutations also boost the production of factors that increase new-vessel growth in the colon and other tissues. That could explain why people with FAP have higher vascular densities in their mouths, says Giardiello.

"While there seems to be a reason why FAP patients have this denser vessel growth, I don't yet have a plausible explanation for how HNPCC gene mutations could cause this overgrowth," says Giardiello. "It's something that we'd like to investigate further."

The study was supported by The John G. Rangos Sr. Charitable Foundation, and The Clayton Fund.

Other researchers who participated in the study were Ali Basiri of the Catholic University of America; Linda M. Hylind, Katharine Romans, and Jennifer E. Axilbund of Johns Hopkins; and Marcia Cruz-Correa of the University of Puerto Rico.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel L. Edelstein, Francis M. Giardiello, Ali Basiri, Linda M. Hylind, Katharine Romans, Jennifer E. Axilbund, Marcia Cruz-Correa, Jessica C. Ramella-Roman. A new phenotypic manifestation of familial adenomatous polyposis. Familial Cancer, 2011; 10 (2): 309 DOI: 10.1007/s10689-011-9432-3

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Hereditary colon cancer syndrome marked by abnormally dense blood vessel growth in mouth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623161948.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2011, June 23). Hereditary colon cancer syndrome marked by abnormally dense blood vessel growth in mouth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623161948.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Hereditary colon cancer syndrome marked by abnormally dense blood vessel growth in mouth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110623161948.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
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