Once a patient undergoes surgery for the removal of their bladder and lymph nodes -- the standard treatment for muscle-invasive bladder cancer -- researchers say a routine tissue analysis could easily test for the presence of mutated proteins, or biomarkers, that they found to help ascertain the chances that the cancer will return.
The findings, which researchers say could one day alter the postoperative treatment offered to patients who test positive for the mutated biomarkers, are available online and in an upcoming issue of The Lancet Oncology.
"Our goal is to identify patients who have a higher chance of cancer recurrence," said Dr. Jose Karam, the study's lead author and a medical resident at UT Southwestern. "If we can identify key biomarker alterations in these patients, we might be able to predict who will benefit from treatments such as chemotherapy."
In the study, UT Southwestern scientists investigated the association of the proteins Bcl-2, caspase-3, P53 and survivin with the recurrence of cancer after surgery. The proteins are known to regulate apoptosis, or programmed cell death.
Apoptosis is a way for the body to safely dispose of dead cells, and it plays a role in preventing cancer. If cells don't die when they are supposed to, they can continue dividing and change into a tumor.
"We are trying to identify tumors that are more aggressive and more likely to spread," said Dr. Yair Lotan, assistant professor of urology at UT Southwestern and an author of the study. "Even after we've removed a diseased bladder and lymph nodes from a patient, more than 20 percent of patients have disease elsewhere in their body."
Researchers collected archival tissue from 226 patients who underwent surgery for bladder cancer -- the fourth most common cancer in men and the ninth most common cancer in women -- between January 1987 and December 2002. They tested the tissue for the protein biomarkers and found that patients who showed mutations in all four biomarkers had a significantly increased rate of mortality from cancer after surgery. Patients who showed no mutations in the four biomarkers had a 90 percent chance of survival at five years compared to less than 20 percent if they had four mutated markers.
Dr. Shahrokh Shariat, the study's senior author and a urology resident at UT Southwestern, said the findings suggest that mutations in the biomarkers indicate a malfunction in programmed cell death, leading to increased chances of cancer recurrence and mortality.
Dr. Karam noted that while the findings are still preliminary and need to be scientifically validated before being applied in the clinic, the results could change the treatment patients receive.
"Patients who have alterations on all four biomarkers might benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy even if the cancer appears to be confined to their bladder.
Otherwise, their chances for survival are likely to be poor," said Dr. Karam. "Likewise, those who show none of the biomarkers might not need unnecessary chemotherapy."
Connie Piloto | EurekAlert!
Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University
Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy