Posts Tagged ‘diagnosing’

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment.

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016


Logos 005

A new study in the April 1 issue of Cancer Research reported that women were five times more likely to develop cancer if they had a higher percentage of Ki67, a molecule marker that identifies proliferating cells, in the cells that line the mammary ducts and milk producing lobules. These mammary epithelium cells, undergo drastic changes throughout a woman’s life, and are the location of the majority of breast cancers. Healthy breast tissues the percentage of cells expressing molecular marker Ki67 and p27 was low.

Researchers examined biopsies with some as old as 4 decades earlier, from 302 subjects who had been diagnosed with benign breast disease. They compared tissue from 69 women who later developed cancer to the tissue from the 233 women who did not. Researchers found that those with a higher percentage of Ki67 were five times more likely to develop cancer. Doctors currently test breast tumors for Ki67 levels, yo make decisions about treatment but this was first time Ki67 has been linked to precancerous tissue and used as a predictive tool. Researchers said ” Instead of only telling women that they don’t have cancer, we could test the biopsies and tell women if they were at high risk or low risk for developing breast cancer in the future. ”

Currently, mammograms are considered the best  tool for early detection of breast cancer but there are risks associated with this method including psychological distress, delayed treatment, or over treatment due to false positive and negative results and over diagnosis. In addition mammogram machines use low dose radiation anfd repeated screening can potentially cause cancer.  “If we could minimize unnecessary radiation for women at low risk, that would be good” according to one of the researchers. They further say screening for Ki67 levels would be easy to carry out currently but the researchers want to replicate the results in an independent cohort of women first.

Can RNA in Platelets Diagnose and Classify Cancer and Identify Treatment Strategies?

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Logos 005A new study published in the journal Cancer Cell, concluded that from an analysis of tumor RNA  carried in platelets, that play a role in clotting, may be more useful than other liquid biopsy technologies for diagnosing cancer and determining its primary location and potential therapeutic approaches. The researchers found that platelets that have taken up tumor RNA can distinguish among blood samples of healthy individuals and those of patients with six types of cancer. determine the location of the primary tumor, and identify tumors carrying mutations that can guide therapeutic decision making. Researchers said “By combining next-generation sequencing gene expression profiles of platelet RNA with computational algorithm Platelet  we developed. we were able to detect the presence of cancer with 96% accuracy.” …..”RNA signatures also provide valuable information on the type of tumor present in the body and can guide selection of the most optimal treatment for individual patients.” Results were based upon isolated platelets from blood samples taken from 55 healthy individuals, 39 individuals with early stage cancer and 189 patients with advanced metastatic cancer. Patients had either small-cell lung cancer, colorectal cancer, glioblastoma, pancreatic cancer, hepatobiliary cancer or breast cancer.

After analyzing a drop of blood from each individual researchers found more than 5,000 different platelet RNAs. Comparing RNA profiles of healthy individuals with those of cancer patients showed increased levels of almost 1500 RNA molecules–many involved in cancer-associated processes–and reductions of almost 800 in samples from cancer patients. Examining levels of about 1,000 RNAs from almost 300 individuals with the algorithms that classified whether of not cancer was present did so with 96% accuracy. All of the patients with localized tumors and 33 or the 39 with tumors of the central nervous system were accurately diagnosed. Platelet RNA profiles also correctly identified the particular type of cancer in each patient. Research is ongoing.

Do More Examiners Reviewing Results of Mammograms Improve Efficacy of Breast Cancer Detection?

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

logo1267406_mdA new study published on Medical Express concluded that five independent assessments lead to better results than one or two. Previous researchers found that usually one or even two physicians in Europe review x-rays from mammograms but even when two review them, results are often wrong. About 20% of women with cancer are diagnosed as being cancer free, and about 20 % of those who are cancer free and diagnosed as having cancer. This lead to the study to evaluate collective vs individual intelligence for efficacy when reviewing x-rays.

Using a data set with a large number of mammograms with an independent assessment of each by about one hundred radiologists  as well as the actual health status with a yes or no for cancer on all patients. They found that five independent assessments lead to better results. Simple collective rules such as majority vote or quorum vote in order integrate the vote was used. Compared to the best physician, a collective intellectual vote allowed both the false positives and false negatives from mammograms to be reduced (sensitivity and specificity) ie: cancer diagnosis but no cancer and no cancer diagnosis but cancer. The collective benefit of mammograms begins to occur when three or four physicians are used for the assessment but the benefit of additional assessments significantly start to level off at about 8 or 10 assessments according to the researchers.

New Way to Detect Breast-Cancer Related Lymphedema.

Friday, November 22nd, 2013


A new study reported in Lymphology discusses a new way to detect breast-cancer related lymphedema that is one of the most feared outcomes of breast cancer treatment and a condition that affects the lymphatic system and causes psychosocial distress and physical challenges for patients. The researchers believe that because low frequency electrical current cannot travel through cell membranes, using Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) ratios to assess lymphedema could provide a direct measure of lymph fluid outside the cells. This allows for a more accurate assessment of lymphedema using a Lymphedema Index named L-Dex ratio. The objective of the study was to evaluate the reliability, sensitivity, and specificity of a cross-sectional assessment of BIA in detecting lymphedema in a large metropolitan clinical setting.

Data was collected on 250 women that included healthy adult females, breast cancer survivors with lymphedema and women at risk of lymphedema. They demonstrated that survivors with lymphedema had significantly higher L-Dex ratios showing the possibiliuty of using BIA to discriminate between these three cohorts of women. The researchers said “Our study also demonstrates that using a more sensitive L-Dex cutoff point, allowed for BIA to catch 34% of the usually missed lymphedema cases.” “This allows for earlier treatment, which naturally leads to better outcomes for at-risk patients.”  “Given that all women who are treated for breast cancer are at risk for lymphedema, using assessment methods that can accurately identify true lymphedema cases among at-risk breast cancer survivors is of ultimate importance for clinical practice.”

Can Bladder Cancer be Detected by Scent?

Friday, July 19th, 2013

logo1267406_mdPLOS ONE reports that researchers have developed a new “scent device” called the ODOREADER that may prove to be a reliable way to sniff out cancer in patients urine before it becomes a serious problem. Bladder cancer kills more than 15,000 Americans each years and it is expected to cause about 73,000 new cases in 2013. If caught early it can be treated effectively but currently there are no early screening methods other than diagnosis through urine tests at the stage when it starts to become  a problem .At that stage there is usually blood in the urine, frequent or painful urination, and back and pelvic pain as the cancer inva=des the cells lining the inside of the bladder. Although there are screening tests for risk of breast and ovarian cancers such as the BRAC nbiomarker, there currently is no reliable biomarkers or measurable molecular signs of a disease that is available for screening bladder cancer. But the ODOREADER may solve that. Following up on research that showed dogs could successfully sniff out bladder cancer researchers speculated that dogs were picking up the scent of certain gasses emitted by the urine and subsequently built a device that contains a sensor that can analyze gases and create a readout of the chemicals found in the urine within 30 minutes.

The device was tested on 24 samples taken from patients with confirmed cases of bladder cancer and 74 samples from patients who had urological symptoms, but no confirmed cancer. The ODOREADER correctly picked 100% of the cancer patients. Although the results are promising there is more work to be done.

Is Non-Surgical Diagnosis of Brain Tumors Possible?

Friday, April 27th, 2012

The results of a pilot study published in the online edition of Neuro-Oncology demonstrated that brain tumors can be reliably diagnosed and monitored without surgery. Previously unavailable or unreliable the researchers said ” We are excited about the potential that this test has to ease the process of detecting and monitoring brain tumors.” “The test needs to be further developed before it is used in a clinical setting, but I expect it could be particularly valuable for patients who are not surgical candidates.”

In the pilot study of 118 patients with different types of brain tumors, the researchers showed that micro RNA profiling of cerebrospinal fluid can be used to determine the presence of glioblastoma, the most common and lethal form of brain cancer. The micro or tiny RNA molecules are excellent bio markers for various conditions and their levels can be accurately measured in body fluids so it is a simple and inexpensive procedure. This same process could be used to detect the presence of cancer that started in another body site and spread to the brain as well as monitoring the tumor during treatment.

Future Prospects for Diagnosing Lung Cancer With Blood Tests

Friday, January 29th, 2010


In an effort to let lung cancer patients avoid invasive diagnostic procedures such as biopsies or cancer producing high radiation procedures such as CT scanning and to develop a more accurate diagnostic procedure researchers are investigating blood tests. In a study presented at the AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer Dr Steve Dubinett and colleagues at the Lung Cancer Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles developed a 40-marker panel of potential lung cancer biomarkers based upon investigation of 90 patients with lung cancer and 56 controls believed to be at high risk because of smoking histories. These biomarkers correctly identified those with lung cancer 88% of the time and correctly identified those without lung cancer 79% of the time. Thus, the tests had a good sensitivity and specificity (ability of the test to correctly identify those who had the disease when they had it and to correctly identify those who did not have the disease when they did not have it). Although the researchers said the findings are preliminary and would not be available for several years, the fact that 21 of the 40 biomarker panel were significantly different between patients with stage 1 non-small cell lung cancer and the controls is promising.