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 TSRI researchers develop new method to 'fingerprint' HIV
29.03.2017 | Scripps Research Institute

nachricht Periodic ventilation keeps more pollen out than tilted-open windows
29.03.2017 | Technische Universität München

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>