Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

MUHC researchers identify biomarkers that could lead to early diagnosis of colorectal cancer

30.10.2013
Diagnosing colorectal cancer (CRC) is complex; it relies on significant invasive tests and subjective evaluations.

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.”

About colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer – also known as bowel or colon cancer – refers to the abnormal cell growth in the colon (intestine) and rectum. The abnormal cells can develop into benign (non-cancerous) tumours called polyps. Although not all polyps develop into colorectal cancer, colorectal cancer almost always develops from a polyp. Over time, genes in the polyp mutate and cells within them become malignant (cancerous). Colorectal cancer is the most common cancer in developed countries.
About the study:
The study, Genes with aberrant expression in murine preneoplastic intestine show epigenetic and expression changes in normal mucosa of colon cancer patients, was co-authored by Daniel Leclerc, Nancy Lévesque, Yuanhang Cao, Liyuan Deng, Qing Wu, and Rima Rozen of the RI-MUHC, Montreal and Jasmine Powell and Carmen Sapienza of the Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

This research was made possible thanks to funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Related links:
Cited study: cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org/
McGill University Health Centre (MUHC): muhc.ca
Research Institute of the MUHC: muhc.ca/research
McGill University: mcgill.ca
Temple University School of Medicine: temple.edu/medicine
For more information please contact:
Julie Robert
Public Affairs and Strategic Planning
McGill University Health Centre
t: 514-843-1560
e: julie.robert@muhc.mcgill.ca
facebook.com/cusm.muhc

Julie Robert | McGill University Health Centre
Further information:
http://www.muhc.ca

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>