Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

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

24.06.2011
Scanning lining of mouth may enable earlier detection of high colon cancer risk

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.

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center
Office of Public Affairs
Media Contact: Vanessa Wasta
410-955-1287; wasta@jhmi.edu

Vanessa Wasta | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>