Scientists Develop Technology To Detect Cancer
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have developed a breakthrough technology that identifies molecular markers in early lung cancer.
The new technology, created in collaboration with SEQUENOM, developers of genetic analysis products, and Methexis Genomics, uses a DNA analysis technique called methylation profiling to detect cells in the lung that are likely to become cancerous.
There are a number of genetic mechanisms that can alter the characteristics of a normal cell and change it into a cancer cell. One of these mechanisms is methylation, which causes a change in the DNA structure of particular genes and results in altering its control – this may switch the gene on or off at the wrong time in the cell cycle.
Dr Lakis Liloglou, Head of the University’s Lung Cancer Molecular Biomarkers Group, explains: “This is of particular importance in lung cancer research, as the changes in methylation status of the DNA are considered to be a marker for early disease detection.
“Even though DNA methylation analysis has been a previous area of research, prior techniques had a range of technical limitations, that prevented them from being of any real clinical use. This newly developed method overcomes many of the problems and combines the sensitivity of high-powered microscopes with the capability of analysing many samples at a time.”
As part of their research to develop the new technology, the team, based at the University of Liverpool Cancer Research Centre, analysed the methylation profile of 47 genes in lung specimens from 48 patients with a history of smoking. The genes that were selected were known to be involved in cancer development and in this study they were able to accurately determine the relationship between gene methylation in normal and tumour tissue, which in the long term will be of enormous value in identifying high risk individuals.
Professor John Field, Director of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Research Programme, said: "Early detection of lung cancer is the prime objective of our research programme. This depends on the identification of early biomarkers in patients who are at risk of developing the disease prior to clinical symptoms.
"The partnership between the University and Sequenom has provided a breakthrough in our goal to detect early genetic changes in individuals who are at the highest risk.”
The research is being presented this week at the 96th annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Anaheim, California.
Kate Spark | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...