Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Cancer researchers investigate ‘smoking gun’ trail

The University of Leicester has been selected as the hub of a worldwide network of researchers to investigate one of the causes of cancer.

The study into the ‘smoking gun’ trail of devastation caused to the body by substances known as ‘free radicals’ will also impact on our understanding of heart disease, neurodegenerative disease and arthritis.

Dr Marcus Cooke, Senior lecturer in the Radiation and Oxidative Stress Section at the University of Leicester, said: “Most of us have heard of free radicals, and the benefits of antioxidants which mop them up - even if it is just from cosmetics commercials“.

“However, premature aging is just the tip of the iceberg for their detrimental effects. Free radicals have been implicated in many diseases. They are arguably the most prevalent cancer causing chemicals known.

“Free radicals are highly reactive, and can cause widespread damage to cells, and in particular DNA - the cell's blueprint. Whilst it is very difficult to measure free radicals themselves, we can measure this damage as a 'smoking gun' signature of free radical activity.

“Being able to accurately and sensitively measure this damage will allow us to:

get a better understanding of the role of this damage in disease
develop assays to determine disease risk, by measuring cell damage
design strategies to prevent, or encourage repair, of this damage, and hence prevent disease

“This research is particularly important because it provides validated, non-invasive methods for assessing oxidative stress in humans. Being non-invasive this is ideal for looking in young and old patients.

“It will allow us to develop reference ranges to identify what levels of damage in urine are normal, or abnormal, for clinical application and to develop disease risk/prognostic tests.”

Dr. Cooke has been made PI of a project (Euros 45k) to undertake the Europe-wide validation of a urinary biomarker of oxidative stress.

This is one of two studies where Leicester is playing a lead role. Dr. Mark D. Evans is the Principal Investigator in a Euros 60k study to better understand the sources of biomarkers of oxidative stress in urine.

Both projects are spin-offs from a larger Euros 11 million EU Network of Excellence grant (Environment, Cancer, Nutrition and Individual Susceptibility, ECNIS, of which Professor Peter Farmer, of the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, is the project lead at Leicester. (see link at end of release)

Dr Evans said: “These are projects addressing fundamental questions that have been, for the most part, overlooked. Being awarded these two complimentary projects, back-to-back gives us the unique opportunity to address questions that we, and others in the scientific community, have wanted to examine for many years. Likewise, this project incorporates worldwide collaborations between Leicester, Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Poland; DKFZ (the German Cancer Institute), Heidelberg, Germany; Institute of Cancer Research Sutton, U.K; Medical Institute of Bioregulation, Fukuoka, Japan; and Department of Toxicogenetics, University of Leiden, The Netherlands.

Dr Cooke said: “This is a further reflection of the international status of our group within the free radical and biomonitoring community. Through these projects, we are working closely with many of the top research institutes worldwide.”

Dr Cooke said Leicester would act as the hub of a worldwide network of more than 17 laboratories comparing methods of measuring damage to DNA, in urine: “Once we have agreement between methods, we can apply these methods to the study of DNA damage in disease.

The funding has allowed the formation of the European Standards Committee for Urinary (DNA) Lesion Analysis (ESCULA;, which involves researchers from around the world, including industrial collaborators.

Ather Mirza | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

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: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>