Every year 2800 Norwegian women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Some 800 of them die. The sooner the cancer is detected, the better the chances of survival.
A new method makes it possible to detect the most aggressive types far earlier than previously. At the same time, women with a ’mild’ type could be notified quickly that they are out of danger and not have to carry their fears for months without reason.
Ingrid Gribbestad’s research group at the MR Centre at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim has been a pioneer in the work of developing the method. The innovation involves looking at the biopsies (breast tissue samples) at molecular level.
”Today, we have to study the cancerous tumours in microscopes and observe the dangerous changes with our bare eyes. We operate on the lower level when it comes to size,” Gribbestad says.
The method involves taking a ’fingerprint’ of the molecules in the tissue sample. The principle is already used for liquids such as oil and wine: Fish oils can be traced back to where the salmon came from, while the content of a wine bottle can be traced to a specific vineyard. However, nobody else in the world has managed to transfer the method to a medical analysis of breast cancer before.
”There is no doubt that we are at the top internationally in this area,” says Gribbestad.Based on a normal fingerprint, detectives can say something about the owner’s looks and criminal record, if the person’s identity is known. In the same way, Gribbestad can say something about the behaviour of a particular cancerous tumour – if she knows the history and the molecules of the tumour in question.
That makes it possible, for instance, to establish whether the cancer in this tissue has spread to lymph nodes elsewhere in the body.
Disease profile adaptation
”Another positive aspect is that this ’fingerprint’ also indicates whether the patient will respond to the medical treatment we initiate,” Gribbestad explains.
That makes it possible to find the patients that should be given chemotherapy even before the operation. In addition, cases where it is safe to remove only the affected tissue instead of the entire breast will be easier to find. More breasts will be spared.
“With this we leave the group treatment for the benefit of individual treatment adapted to each patient’s disease profile,” concludes Ingrid Gribbestad.
Nina Tveter | alfa
Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy