Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Automated screening process may eventually reduce additional breast cancer surgeries

02.02.2009
A team of researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the Moores UCSD Cancer Center have developed a rapid, automated image screening process to distinguish breast cancer cells from normal cells.

The technique, which is based on the density of cells seen on a microscope slide, may eventually lead to better ways for surgeons to determine if they have removed all of the cancer during breast-conserving cancer surgery and cut down on the number of needed second operations.

One of the biggest dilemmas in breast-conserving "lumpectomies" is whether or not all of the cancer has been removed. To find out, pathologists examine the tissue, looking for cancer cells from the outer margins. But this process is slow, taking up to a week. All too often – between 20 and 50 percent of the time – some disease remains, meaning more surgery.

"The majority of women are good candidates for breast conservation surgery," said breast surgeon Sarah Blair, MD, associate clinical professor of surgery at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, who led the work. "The problem is getting negative margins – meaning the edge of what we remove has no cancer – the first time we operate because we are dealing sometimes with small tumors that can be difficult to see or feel. Right now there is no good way during the operation to make sure that we have removed every cancer cell. We'd like to reduce the need for second operations, which will spare the patient the trauma of surgery again and reduce costs."

Reporting in the Annals of Surgical Oncology, Blair and her co-workers examined samples of normal breast tissue from 10 women and tumor samples from 24 women with cancer. They showed that a technique called automated microscopy, with the help of specially designed computer software, could correctly identify invasive breast cancer cells in 83 percent of the tumor specimens, whereas a normal microscope only identified cancer in 65 percent of the cancer specimens.

The researchers used a method called "touch prep" to collect the cancer cells for evaluation, which entails gathering cells to be stained and then examined and which normally requires a specialized pathologist to subjectively interpret. But in this case, the scientists used the center of the tumor, rather than the outer tissue edges, where it is more difficult to identify cancer cells, to confirm that the technique actually worked.

"We compared manual microscopy, looking at the tissue cells on a slide under the microscope, with automated programs, in which we taught a computer how to look at the slides with a microscope, and they correlated pretty well," Blair said. A camera connected to the microscope takes photos of the slide, which are then analyzed for cancer. "We thought that if we automated it, we could teach the computer what to look for and have the pathologist quickly correlate the computer findings with their findings. We're hoping that the method makes the process more objective."

According to Blair, the automated technique is still too slow to be used in real time during breast surgery. Each slide of breast tissue cells takes about two hours to be analyzed, she said, and six slides are typically examined during breast conservation surgery. They would like to reduce the analysis time to as little as five minutes per slide, and based on the results, know whether or not the patient needs further surgery while she is still in the operating room.

As the researchers continue to refine the technique, they will be able to eventually test its use in examining breast tissue margins. Because it is difficult to identify preinvasive cancer cells, she said, they also want to look at cell surface markers and cell nucleus characteristics to better identify cancer cells and help speed up the identification process. The findings are still preliminary, and Blair and her co-workers are planning to conduct a larger, multicenter trial of the automated technique.

Steve Benowitz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht TSRI researchers develop new method to 'fingerprint' HIV
29.03.2017 | Scripps Research Institute

nachricht Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows
29.03.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

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...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

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...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

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...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>