Researchers in Singapore have developed an ultrasensitive method to detect micro-RNAs: tiny molecules that can indicate the presence of tumours. They are applying the technology toward a non-invasive screening test for gastric cancer.
In 2012, 8.2 million lives were lost to cancer around the world. This number is expected to double by 2030. However, many cancer deaths could be prevented if the disease was detected earlier.
To improve cancer detection, researchers in Singapore have developed a new method for diagnosing cancer non-invasively. It involves detecting micro-RNAs (miRNAs): small, non-coding RNA molecules that are important in the regulation of gene expression. Certain abnormalities that can occur in miRNAs have been implicated in various diseases, including cancer.
Research has shown that miRNA molecules are incredibly stable in blood, making them an excellent biomarker of disease. In fact, tumour-specific miRNAs have recently been reported. However, these molecules are difficult to detect because they are present at extremely low levels in the blood.
Researchers from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) Bioprocessing Technology Institute and the National University of Singapore have developed an algorithm and miRNAdetection technology that is much more sensitive than those currently in use.
The technology, which is compatible with existing laboratory instruments, can measure hundreds of miRNAs from a few drops of blood with unparalleled precision, sensitivity and speed.
The researchers, who have since spun off MiRXES, a biotechnology startup, are now working with the Singapore Gastric Cancer Consortium and the A*STAR Diagnostic Development Hub to develop a test that detects gastric cancer before symptoms appear.
A clinical study involving thousands of patients is in the planning phases. If successful, it will be the first noninvasive screening test for gastric cancer: the second deadliest cancer worldwide and one with a particularly high prevalence among Asian populations.
For further information contact:
Professor Too Heng-Phon
Bioprocessing Technology Institute, Agency for Science,
Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Department of
Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
National University of Singapore
Dr Lihan Zhou
Co-founder and CTO, MiRXES
*This article also appears in Asia Research News 2015 (p.19).
3-D visualization of the pancreas -- new tool in diabetes research
15.03.2017 | Umea University
New PET radiotracer identifies inflammation in life-threatening atherosclerosis
02.03.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine
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...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences