In a paper that appeared online last week in the journal Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research, a team of UNC researchers tested whether DNA methylation profiling could be accomplished on melanoma and mole tissues that had been preserved in fixatives for typical pathology examination after biopsy.
They found that results on tissues prepared in this way were reliable and DNA methylation distinguished malignant melanomas from non-malignant moles.
Melanoma is one of the only forms of cancer that is still on the rise and is the most common form of cancer in young adults. The incidence of melanoma in women under age 30 has increased more than 50 percent since 1980.
"When melanoma is diagnosed early, the prognosis is good. However, once it spreads, it is very difficult to treat. Melanomas and moles can appear similar on the skin and under the microscope making diagnosis of some melanomas difficult. That's why we wanted to determine whether a test for DNA methylation is feasible as a tool for diagnosis," added Nancy Thomas, MD, PhD, professor of dermatology and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Kathleen Conway Dorsey, Ph.D, added, "We are very excited because, with this study, we have shown that this type of testing is feasible and that it has the potential to reliably distinguish between melanoma and benign skin lesions. Devising a molecular test that could aid in the early specific diagnosis of melanoma could have significant benefit for patients." Conway is assistant research professor of epidemiology at UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The team's research pinpointed sites on 22 genes that have significantly different methylation levels between melanomas and non-melanoma lesions, as well as 12 locations that are highly predictive of melanoma. According to Thomas, another goal of the team is to develop a DNA-methylation test for melanoma tumor DNA that is shed into the bloodstream and that can serve as a measure for disease activity.
"If this test can be developed, it opens the door to diagnose recurrence early and initiate treatment while tumors are more likely to respond to treatment. It would also give us another way to monitor patients for response to treatment and help us better optimize treatments for each patient," Thomas noted.
Other members of the research team include Sharon Edmiston, BS, Zakaria Khondker, MStat, Pamela Groben, MD, clinical professor of pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Xin Zhou, PhD, Pei Fen Kuan, PhD, research assistant professor of biostatistics, Honglin Hao, Craig Carson, PhD, and David Ollila, MD, associate professor of surgery, all at UNC-Chapel Hill. The team also included Haitao Chu, MD, PhD, of the University of Minnesota and Marianne Berwick, PhD, MPH, of the University of New Mexico.
The research was funded by the National Cancer Institute and a UNC Lineberger Pilot Grant.
Ellen de Graffenreid | EurekAlert!
Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies
30.03.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine
30.03.2017 | University of Nebraska-Lincoln
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
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering