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 A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | 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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

A room with a view - or how cultural differences matter in room size perception

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Warm winds: New insight into what weakens Antarctic ice shelves

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>