Taking advantage of technology that can analyze tissue samples and measure the activity of thousands of genes at once, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are on a mission to better understand and treat interstitial cystitis (IC), a painful and difficult-to-diagnose bladder condition.
"We are looking for molecular biomarkers for IC, which basically means we are comparing bladder biopsy tissue from patients with suspected interstitial cystitis to patients without the disease. The goal is to identify factors that will lead to a more definitive diagnosis, and then use this information to tailor treatments to the patient," said senior author Stephen J. Walker, Ph.D., associate professor at Wake Forest Baptist's Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
The team's initial work, published online ahead of print in the Journal of Urology, found that tissue from IC patients with low bladder capacity had a significantly different gene expression profile than both IC patients with normal bladder capacity and study participants without IC. The findings suggest there may be a sub-type of IC.
"This is the first study to document functional genomic variation based solely on bladder capacity," said Robert J. Evans, M.D., a co-author and IC specialist in Wake Forest Baptist Urology. "Interstitial cystitis is notoriously difficult to diagnose. In fact, one report found that it takes the average patient eight years and seeing five doctors to be correctly diagnosed. The identification of biomarkers to improve diagnosis or treatment would be a significant breakthrough for patients and physicians."
IC, also known as bladder pain syndrome, is a condition in which the bladder lining is tender and easily irritated. Symptoms can include severe pelvic pain, urinary urgency and frequency and painful sexual intercourse. IC is often misdiagnosed as other conditions such as endometriosis, kidney stones or chronic urinary tract infections. The condition affects an estimated three to eight million women and one to four million men in the United States.
For the study, researchers analyzed bladder biopsies from 13 patients diagnosed with IC and three patients without the condition. The biopsies were sorted into three groups: low bladder capacity (less than 13 fluid ounces as tested under anesthesia); bladder capacity above 13 ounces; and non-IC patients. Using microarray analysis, which allows gene expression profiling on a "whole genome" scale, the researchers looked for similarities and differences in gene expression between groups. The analysis tells researchers which genes are turned "on" and which are turned "off."
The results showed a highly significant difference between low capacity patients and both the normal capacity and control patients. The low capacity patients had genes related to inflammation and immune signaling turned "on." The results may reflect a fundamental difference in disease processes.
"These gene expression differences may explain why clinical trials for IC are so variable in effectiveness and have a large number of non-responders," said Evans. "There may be subtypes of the disease that respond best to particular treatments."
Based on these early results, the team is conducting further research with the aim of identifying and validating a biomarker to aid in diagnosis and treatment of IC.
"Diseases are rarely seen as single entities anymore," said Walker. "Patients demonstrating a specific disease subtype may respond more quickly and or more favorably to treatments that target that specific subtype. Having the ability to identify the right treatment for the right patient is the ultimate goal."
This pilot research was supported by funds from the Department of Urology. Because of the promise of the data, the Interstitial Cystitis Association has awarded funding for further research.
Co-researchers were: Marc Colaco, M.D., David S. Koslov, M.D., Tristan Keys, M.D., Gopal H. Badlani, M.D., and Karl-Erik Andersson, M.D., Ph.D., all with Wake Forest Baptist.
Media Contacts: Karen Richardson, firstname.lastname@example.org, (336) 716-4453) or Main Number (336) 716-4587.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is a nationally recognized academic medical center in Winston-Salem, N.C., with an integrated enterprise including educational and research facilities, hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers and other primary and specialty care facilities serving 24 counties in northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia. Its divisions are Wake Forest Baptist Health, a regional clinical system with close to 175 locations, 900 physicians and 1,000 acute care beds; Wake Forest School of Medicine, an established leader in medical education and research; and Wake Forest Innovations, which promotes the commercialization of research discoveries and operates Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, an urban research and business park specializing in biotechnology, materials science and information technology. Wake Forest Baptist clinical, research and educational programs are annually ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Karen Richardson | Eurek Alert!
Speech dynamics are coded in the left motor cortex
31.03.2015 | Universitätsmedizin Göttingen - Georg-August-Universität
Discovery of two new species of primitive fishes discovered
31.03.2015 | Universität Zürich
In an experiment at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, scientists precisely measured the temperature and structure of aluminum as...
The IPH presents a solution at HANNOVER MESSE 2015 to make ship traffic more reliable while decreasing the maintenance costs at the same time. In cooperation with project partners, the research institute from Hannover, Germany, has developed a sensor system which continuously monitors the condition of the marine gearbox, thus preventing breakdowns. Special feature: the monitoring system works wirelessly and energy-autonomously. The required electrical power is generated where it is needed – directly at the sensor.
As well as cars need to be certified regularly (in Germany by the TÜV – Technical Inspection Association), ships need to be inspected – if the powertrain stops...
When an earthquake hits, the faster first responders can get to an impacted area, the more likely infrastructure--and lives--can be saved.
The Atlantic overturning is one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards. Also known as the Gulf Stream system, it is responsible for the mild climate in northwestern Europe.
Scientists now found evidence for a slowdown of the overturning – multiple lines of observation suggest that in recent decades, the current system has been...
Because they are regularly subjected to heavy vehicle traffic, emissions, moisture and salt, above- and underground parking garages, as well as bridges, frequently experience large areas of corrosion. Most inspection systems to date have only been capable of inspecting smaller surface areas.
From April 13 to April 17 at the Hannover Messe (hall 2, exhibit booth C16), engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP will be...
25.03.2015 | Event News
19.03.2015 | Event News
17.03.2015 | Event News
31.03.2015 | Earth Sciences
31.03.2015 | Earth Sciences
31.03.2015 | Life Sciences