Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Customized gene chip provides rapid detection of genetic changes in children’s cancer

02.08.2005


Microarray scans DNA regions in neuroblastoma tumors to forecast outcomes, guide treatments



Genetics researchers have developed a customized gene chip to rapidly scan tumor samples for specific DNA changes that offer clues to prognosis in cases of neuroblastoma, a common form of children’s cancer. Rather than covering the entire genome, the microarray focuses on suspect regions of chromosomes for signs of deleted genetic material known to play a role in the cancer.

The investigators, from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Thomas Jefferson University, say their technique may be readily adapted for other types of cancer. The proof-of-principle study appears in the August issue of Genome Research.


One advantage of their technique is its flexibility, said co-author John M. Maris, M.D., a pediatric oncologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. "As future research identifies other genes active in neuroblastoma, we can modify the microarray to include such regions," he added.

"We have customized this tool for neuroblastoma, but the approach might also be adapted to other types of cancer in which DNA changes are important," said co-author Paolo Fortina, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and section chief, Genomics and Diagnostics, in the Jefferson Department of Medicine’s Center for Translational Medicine.

The most common cancer found in infants, neuroblastoma strikes the peripheral nervous system, often appearing as a solid tumor in a child’s chest or abdomen. Some types of neuroblastoma are low risk, resolving after surgeons remove the tumor, while others are much more aggressive. Identifying the correct risk level allows doctors to treat aggressive cancers appropriately, while not subjecting children with low-risk cancer to overtreatment.

Cancer researchers have pinpointed specific genetic abnormalities that influence the aggressiveness of neuroblastoma. An important abnormality is loss of heterozygosity (LOH), the deletion of one copy of a pair of genes. When the gene involved is a tumor suppressor gene, LOH removes a brake on uncontrolled cell growth, the growth that is the hallmark of cancer.

Researchers in Dr. Maris’ laboratory previously established that LOH in a region of chromosome 11 allows aggressive neuroblastoma to take hold. The new microarray can detect such gene defects on chromosome 11 and other genetic regions implicated in neuroblastoma.

Microarrays are silicon chips that contain tightly ordered selections of genetic material upon which sample material can be tested. When DNA bases from a sample bind to complementary sequences on the microarray, they cause fluorescent tags to shine under laser light. This is a signal that a particular gene variation is present in the sample.

"We can test DNA from peripheral blood and from the tumor, and we should see a loss of signal in the cancer," said Dr. Fortina. He noted that the researchers can simultaneously evaluate seven chromosomal regions known to be involved in neuroblastoma.

Unlike gene expression microarrays, which detect varying levels of RNA to measure the activity levels of different genes as DNA transfers information to RNA, the current microarray directly identifies changes in DNA. "These DNA changes, involving gain or loss of genetic material, are important for neuroblastoma prognosis," said Dr. Maris.

In pinpointing specific regions of chromosomes with loss in DNA, the technology may help confirm a clinical diagnosis, said Saul Surrey, Ph.D., professor of medicine and Associate Director of Research at the Cardeza Foundation for Hematologic Research and the Division of Hematology at Jefferson Medical College. If a clinical diagnosis isn’t known, the method might provide some clues.

The microarrray described in the paper has only been used in their laboratory study, but the researchers hope that with further study it may become more widely available as a diagnostic tool for oncologists treating patients with neuroblastoma, and possibly for other cancers.

In addition to Drs. Maris, Fortina, and Surrey, other co-authors are George Hii, Peter S. White, Ph.D., and Eric Rappaport, Ph.D., of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Craig A. Gelfand, Ph.D., and Shobha Varde, M.S., of Orchid Biosciences, Princeton, N.J. Grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Children’s Oncology Group supported the work.

John Ascenzi | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.chop.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources
29.05.2017 | DGIST (Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology)

nachricht Copper hydroxide nanoparticles provide protection against toxic oxygen radicals in cigarette smoke
29.05.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

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....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

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....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

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...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>