Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New DNA technique leads to a breakthrough in child cancer research

22.02.2010
Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and Karolinska Institutet have used novel technology to reveal the different genetic patterns of neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer. This discovery may lead to significant advances in the treatment of this malignant disease, which mainly affects small children.

The article is being published in the respected scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The study includes 165 children with neuroblastoma, most of whom developed the disease before the age of five. These children have been monitored for over 20 years by two research teams led by professors Tommy Martinsson, of the Sahlgrenska Academy, and Per Kogner of Karolinska Institutet.

Neuroblastoma is a nerve cell cancer that has defects in certain chromosomes. If the tumour has a characteristic defect on chromosome 11, it is very aggressive and difficult to cure.

"We found that the children who develop this type of neuroblastoma are twice as old at the onset of the disease as children who develop other types of neuroblastoma. This type progresses more slowly and is more difficult to treat," says Helena Carén, a researcher at the Department of Clinical Genetics at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

By using the latest genetic techniques, the researchers have succeeded in analysing the DNA of tumour cells and identifying chromosomal defects, enabling the identification of sub-groups of the most aggressive neuroblastomas. The next step is to identify their weak points genetically in order to develop better treatment.

"We call this personalized medicine, because the treatment is based on the genetic profile of the patient, or in this case, of the tumour cells," says Tommy Martinsson, professor of genetics at the Department of Clinical Genetics at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

Per Kogner, professor of paediatric oncology at Karolinska Institutet, reiterates that their discovery will now allow a variety of tailor-made treatments to be developed, saving the lives of more children.

"The analytical method we have used in our research is already being used for clinical assessment of every neuroblastoma tumour in the country, which means that we can now make more accurate diagnoses," says Helena Carén.

The study was carried out with the support of the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation and the Swedish Cancer Society.

ABOUT NEUROBLASTOMA
Neuroblastoma is a form of cancer that affects small children, most of whom are diagnosed before they reach their fifth birthday. It is the third commonest form of cancer in children, after leukaemia and brain tumours. About 20 Swedish children are affected every year, and the risk of developing the disease is the same worldwide. Neuroblastoma is a tumour of nerve cells. It appears during the development phase of the sympathetic nervous system. Children may have no symptoms at all, and sometimes a lump is the first sign of the disease noticed by parents or doctors. As the tumour grows or spreads, it may press on other organs and cause symptoms. The available treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, high-dose therapy combined with stem cell support, and vitamin A.

For further information, please contact:

Helena Carén, doctor of medical science at the Sahlgrenska Academy, telephone +46 (0)31-343 41 57, +46 (0)706- 82 32 62, helena.caren@clingen.gu.se

Tommy Martinsson, professor and chief geneticist (principal study investigator) at the Sahlgrenska Academy, tel +46 (0)31- 343 48 03, tel +46 (0)739-81 71 12 tommy.martinsson@clingen.gu.se

Per Kogner, professor and paediatric oncologist at the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital and researcher at Karolinska Institutet, +46 (0)8-5177 35 34, +46 (0)70-571 39 07, per.kogner@ki.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/02/08/0910684107.full.pdf

Further reports about: Cancer DNA Genetics Institutet Karolinska brain tumour nerve cell tumour cells

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>