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 World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>