This process may soon become much easier thanks to a medical breakthrough by scientists at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC). The researchers have identified genetic changes in the colon lining, or mucosa, in colorectal cancer patients that could be used as biomarkers of the disease.
That will allow doctors to diagnose patients earlier, more accurately and less invasively. The study, recently published online, in Cancer Prevention Research, has implications for the nearly one million people diagnosed annually worldwide.
“The gold standard of diagnosis is currently colonoscopy,” says corresponding author of the study, Dr. Rima Rozen, a geneticist from the Departments of Human Genetics and Pediatrics at The Montreal Children’s Hospital of the MUHC and McGill University. “This is an invasive procedure, where the physician looks for abnormal tissue or growths also known as polyps.” Additionally, given surging demand for colonoscopies, this research may ultimately offer an alternative option for early diagnosis, paving the way for the reduction in wait time.
According to Dr. Rozen, who is also a researcher of the Medical Genetics and Genomics Axis at the RI-MUHC, having genetic biomarkers of CRC will enhance the diagnostic procedure. “This new method could help to avoid false negative findings, which can occur in 10 to 15 per cent of endoscopic procedures,” she says. “The key is using the right genes. I believe the ones we have identified are good candidates.”
Dr. Rozen and her colleagues first identified five possible abnormal marker genes in a colon cancer mouse model. They then confirmed that these candidate biomarker genes were also abnormal in tissue obtained from colon cancer patients. “Not only did this show that our mouse model mimics the human disease,” says Dr. Rozen. “But more importantly, it identified genes that could be used for colorectal cancer diagnosis.”
Interestingly, the abnormal patterns of these genes were detected in otherwise normal colon cells that were not near the tumor site. “CRC develops in different stages,” says Dr. Rozen. “This finding suggests that it may be possible to take tissue samples in more accessible regions of the gastrointestinal tract or, ideally, in blood or stool, and look for biomarkers as an early indicator of disease.”
This research was made possible thanks to funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).Related links:
Julie Robert | McGill University Health Centre
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy