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
A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital
Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München
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...
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...
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...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy