Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New way of examining lymph tissue detects hidden melanoma

01.10.2003


A new study shows that molecular analysis of a very small tissue sample can identify hidden melanoma metastases in lymph nodes. The presence of melanoma in the lymph nodes is the single most important factor in determining a patient’s prognosis and is a key factor in determining a patient’s course of treatment.



Published in the October 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the study is the first to use such a thin section of archival paraffin-embedded tissue and show that a specific set of molecular characteristics indicates the presence of melanoma in the lymph nodes – even among patients whose lymph nodes appear cancer-free using standard techniques. By using a small tissue section, pathologists spare more of the whole specimen, which is needed for additional pathology tests.

"Our findings show that by performing molecular analysis on a very small piece of tissue, we can quickly and accurately identify previously undetectable metastases, and provide a more accurate prognosis for patients," said Dr. Dave S.B. Hoon, director of the Department of Molecular Oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California, and senior author of the study. "Providing a more accurate prognosis can inform decisions on when and how to treat patients, and could ultimately improve our ability to care for patients with melanoma."


Dr. Hoon and his team designed a molecular test to detect the presence of four melanoma-associated proteins, or "markers," in lymph node tissue. They obtained archived tissue samples from 77 patients. Standard tests revealed that 37 of the samples contained melanoma, indicating a poor prognosis. However, using the new molecular analysis, researchers showed that the lymph nodes of 25 percent of the 40 patients whose nodes were thought to be cancer-free actually contained two or more of the melanoma-associated markers.

Researchers then observed all patients for nearly five years to determine if there was any correlation between the number or type of melanoma markers and patients’ clinical outcomes. They found that patients with two or more of the markers were more than twice as likely to develop a recurrence of their disease than patients whose lymph node samples presented zero or one marker, and were nearly five-times as likely to die as a result of recurrence.

"Our study is the first to show that patients who express these specific melanoma markers are much more likely to have a poorer outcome, which has wide-ranging implications for the type and extent of treatment that they receive," said Dr. Hoon. "In addition, we are able to identify these patients using a previously-archived tissue sample, sparing the remainder of the valuable whole tissue specimen for other tests."

Dr. Hoon and his colleagues are in the process of enrolling patients in larger clinical trials that will examine the use of these and other markers to better detect melanoma in the lymph nodes, which could dramatically improve the accuracy of diagnosis and identify patients who would benefit from stringent monitoring and preventive therapy.



"Prediction of Disease Outcome in Melanoma Patients by Molecular Analysis of Paraffin-Embedded Sentinel Lymph Nodes." Christine Kuo, M.D. et al.; John Wayne Cancer Institute, St. John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, CA. Vol 21, No 19 (October 1), 2003, pp 3566-3572.

The Journal of Clinical Oncology is the semi-monthly peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world’s leading professional society representing physicians who treat people with cancer.

ATTRIBUTION TO THE JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY IS REQUESTED IN ALL NEWS COVERAGE.

For the full text of any JCO article call 703-519-1423 or 212-584-5014.
The JCO News Digest is also distributed via email. Please let us know if you would like to be added to our email distribution list.

Carrie Housman | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

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: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>