Researchers from the University of Missouri have found a more accurate laboratory method for diagnosing pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
The disease causes more than 38,000 deaths each year in the United States, and kills 94 percent of people with the illness within five years, according to the National Cancer Institute.
"Pancreatic cancer can be difficult to diagnose because of subtle differences that distinguish between healthy tissue, cancerous tissue and tissue that is atypical, or suspicious," said Lester Layfield, MD, professor and chair of the MU School of Medicine's Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences. "Our goal was to find a way to make a more accurate and reproducible diagnosis."
Because of the pancreas' location within the body, no routine screening methods, such as mammography for breast cancer, exist for detecting pancreatic cancer.
If a physician suspects a patient may have pancreatic cancer, a biopsy of the pancreatic tissue is taken through a minimally invasive technique called endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration.
"Traditionally, pathologists have examined a tissue sample through a microscope and made a diagnosis based on the overall features of all the cells in the tissue sample," Layfield said. "Previous research has shown an experienced pathologist can diagnose pancreatic cancer with accuracy in the mid-to-upper 80 percent range using current techniques. However, we wanted to develop a more accurate method by determining which cellular features are most closely associated with cancer."
To develop the new diagnostic method, MU researchers performed a retrospective study of the records from 57 patients at University of Missouri Health Care who were tested for pancreatic cancer. They evaluated 16 features of pancreatic biopsies that could be evaluated under a microscope and performed a statistical analysis to determine which could be most reliably identified by multiple pathologists and which were most likely to be associated with pancreatic cancer.
"Through our analysis, we developed a group of four characteristics that allow a pathologist to diagnose pancreatic cancer with 93 percent accuracy — a substantial improvement over the traditional method," Layfield said. "I believe this new technique can help pathologists improve the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, ultimately improving care for patients by providing an evidence-based approach to diagnosing the disease and determining the best treatment."
The four features of pancreatic cancer the researchers identified are:
- a wide variation in the size of pancreatic cells' nuclei, called anisonucleosis
- oversized nucleoli, called macronucleoli
- single atypical epithelia cells, a type of cell found in the pancreas
- mucinous metaplasia, which is the production of mucin in cells that normally don't produce the substance
The study, "Risk Stratification Using Morphological Features in Endoscopic-ultrasonography Guided Fine Needle Aspirations of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma," was presented at the American Society for Clinical Pathology's 2013 annual meeting.
Colin Planalp | EurekAlert!
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology