Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NIST, NCI, SAIC partner on new method for detecting HER2 breast cancer

21.02.2008
Generations of mothers have served up chicken soup to remedy the common cold, but now the therapeutic fowl may find use in diagnosis as well. Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the scientific research firm SAIC recently showed how chicken antibodies may one day improve the detection of an aggressive form of breast cancer.
HER2 is one of a family of genes that help regulate the growth and proliferation of human cells. Normal cells have two copies of HER2, but about 20 to 25 percent of breast cancers have multiple copies of the gene, resulting in the overproduction of a HER2-encoded protein (called HER2) that stimulates tumors to be particularly fast growing and difficult to treat in a subset of breast cancer patients.

Patients with that form of breast cancer—about 40,000 women in the United States annually—can be treated with a monoclonal antibody called trastuzumab that targets and inhibits the growth of tumor cells with higher-than-normal levels of the HER2 protein. But because the treatment can have adverse side effects, it’s important to screen for those patients who would benefit from it by testing them for one or both of the two relevant biomarkers: the amplified HER2 gene or its overexpressed HER2 protein. Unfortunately, the existing tests for these biomarkers can yield a significant number of false positives—as many as 23 percent of patients in one 2006 clinical study—resulting in some women getting a somewhat risky and expensive treatment that can’t help them.

In a paper in the International Journal of Cancer,* the NIST-NCI-SAIC research team found that chicken immunoglobulin Y (IgY) antibody created against the HER2 protein could be tagged with quantum dot (tiny, intense and tunable sources of colorful light) to more reliably detect the HER2 biomarker than the existing diagnostic tests using mammalian antibodies tagged with conventional fluorescent dyes. Overall, the improvement in sensitivity to the HER2 biomarker was about 40-50 percent.

The increased sensitivity of the HER2 quantum dot-based quantitative bioimaging system stems from the broad genetic differences between avian and human species. The chicken IgY antibody to HER2 reacts strongly with the target protein while ignoring other human proteins that can interfere with current diagnostic tests.

Other advantages of the novel NIST-NCI-SAIC system include faster and larger-scale production of the antibodies and a more reliable quantitative measure of HER2 biomarker level, in part because the quantum dot tags will stay bright and detectable while fluorescent dyes fade over time.

Michael E. Newman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nist.gov

More articles from Health and Medicine:

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

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

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: 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...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

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

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>