Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cheek Swab May Detect Lung Cancer

08.10.2010
In clinical trial, technique appears to detect lung cancer far afield from a tumor

Early detection is critical for improving cancer survival rates. Yet, one of the deadliest cancers in the United States, lung cancer, is notoriously difficult to detect in its early stages.

Now, researchers have developed a method to detect lung cancer by merely shining diffuse light on cells swabbed from patients' cheeks.

In a new clinical study, the analysis technique--called partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy--was able to differentiate individuals with lung cancer from those without, even if the non-cancerous patients had been lifetime smokers or suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The findings-released by a team of engineers and physicians from NorthShore University Health System, Northwestern University and New York University-appear in print in the Oct. 15, 2010, issue of the journal Cancer Research.

"This study is important because it provides the proof of concept that a minimally intrusive, risk-stratification technique may allow us to tailor screening for lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer deaths in Americans," said physician and researcher Hemant Roy of NorthShore University HealthSystems and the University of Chicago, the lead author on the paper. "This represents a major step forward in translating biomedical optics breakthroughs for personalized screening for lung cancer."

The recent results are an extension of several successful trials involving the light-scattering analysis technique, including early detection successes with pancreatic cancer and colon cancer. NSF has supported the team's work since 2002, with an early grant to Roy's collaborator and co-author, bioengineer Vadim Backman of Northwestern University.

"Their work has now transitioned to a larger $2 million Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation award," said Leon Esterowitz, a biophotonics expert and program director at NSF who has long supported the research. "The results have even larger implications in that the techniques and the ‘field effect' may be a general phenomena that could be applied to a multitude of epithelial cancers, the most common cancer type."

The continuing clinical and laboratory experiments involving the PWS light-scattering technique-and its predecessor technologies, four-dimensional elastic light scattering fingerprinting (4D-ELF) and low-coherence enhanced backscattering spectroscopy (LEBS)-are revealing new information about the changes cells undergo when cancer emerges somewhere in the body.

Within affected cells, including otherwise healthy cells far from an actual tumor, the molecules in the nucleus and cellular skeleton appear to change. On the scale of roughly 200 nanometers or less, even to the scale of molecules, an affected cell's structure becomes so distorted that light scatters through the cell in a telling way.

The ability of cancer to cause changes in distant, healthy tissue is called the "field effect" or "field of injury" effect, and is the physical mechanism that allows cells in the cheek to reveal changes triggered by a tumor far off in a patient's lung.

"Microscopic histology and cytology have been a staple of clinical diagnostics detecting micro-scale alterations in cell structure," added Backman. "However, the resolution of conventional microscopy is limited. PWS-based nanocytology, on the other hand, detects cellular alterations at the nanoscale in otherwise microscopically normal-appearing cells."

"What is intriguing is that the very same nanoscale alterations seem to develop early in very different types of cancer including lung, colon and pancreatic cancers," Backman continued. "Not only does this suggest that nanocytology has the potential to become a general platform for cancer screening, but also that these nanoscale alterations are a ubiquitous event in early carcinogenesis with critical consequences for cell function. Elucidating the mechanisms of these alterations will help us understand the initial stages of carcinogenesis and improve screening."

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation through ten individual grants over the last decade, including CBET-0939778 and CBET-0937987.

Read more about the work in the Northwestern University press release.

Media Contacts
Joshua A. Chamot, NSF (703) 292-7730 jchamot@nsf.gov
Megan Fellman, Northwestern University (847) 491-3115 fellman@northwestern.edu
Jim Anthony, NorthShore University HealthSystem (847) 570-6132 janthony@northshore.org
Program Contacts
Sohi Rastegar, NSF (703) 292-8305 srastega@nsf.gov
Leon Esterowitz, NSF (703) 292-7942 lesterow@nsf.gov
Principal Investigators
Vadim Backman, Northwestern University (847) 467-4010 v-backman@northwestern.edu
Co-Investigators
Hemant Roy, NorthShore University HealthSystems and the University of Chicago h-roy@northwestern.edu

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2010, its budget is about $6.9 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Josh Chamot | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nsf.gov

Further reports about: Cancer HealthSystem NSF PWS healthy cell lung cancer pancreatic cancer

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>