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Posts Tagged ‘University of Missouri’


Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis: Four Novel Histo-pathologies Screening Characteristics offers more Reliable Identification of Cellular Features associated with Cancer

News from University of Missouri, School of Medicine

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

“Through our analysis, we developed a group of four characteristics that allow a pathologist to diagnose pancreatic cancer with 93 percent accuracy — a substantial improvement over the traditional method,” Layfield said. “I believe this new technique can help pathologists improve the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, ultimately improving care for patients by providing an evidence-based approach to diagnosing the disease and determining the best treatment.”

The four features of pancreatic cancer the researchers identified are:

  • a wide variation in the size of pancreatic cells’ nuclei, called anisonucleosis
  • oversized nucleoli, called macronucleoli
  • single atypical epithelia cells, a type of cell found in the pancreas
  • mucinous metaplasia, which is the production of mucin in cells that normally don’t produce the substance

The study, “Risk Stratification Using Morphological Features in Endoscopic-ultrasonography Guided Fine Needle Aspirations of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma,” was presented at the American Society for Clinical Pathology‘s 2013 annual meeting.

MU Study Finds More Accurate Method to Diagnose Pancreatic Cancer

Group of four screening characteristics offers more reliable identification

Researchers from the University of Missouri have found a more accurate laboratory method for diagnosing pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The disease causes more than 38,000 deaths each year in the United States, and kills 94 percent of people with the illness within five years, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Layfield
Layfield

“Pancreatic cancer can be difficult to diagnose because of subtle differences that distinguish between healthy tissue, cancerous tissue and tissue that is atypical, or suspicious,” said Lester Layfield, MD, professor and chair of the MU School of Medicine’s Department of Pathology and Anatomical Sciences. “Our goal was to find a way to make a more accurate and reproducible diagnosis.”

Because of the pancreas’ location within the body, no routine screening methods, such as mammography for breast cancer, exist for detecting pancreatic cancer.

If a physician suspects a patient may have pancreatic cancer, a biopsy of the pancreatic tissue is taken through a minimally invasive technique called endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration.

“Traditionally, pathologists have examined a tissue sample through a microscope and made a diagnosis based on the overall features of all the cells in the tissue sample,” Layfield said. “Previous research has shown an experienced pathologist can diagnose pancreatic cancer with accuracy in the mid-to-upper 80 percent range using current techniques. However, we wanted to develop a more accurate method by determining which cellular features are most closely associated with cancer.”

To develop the new diagnostic method, MU researchers performed a retrospective study of the records from 57 patients at University of Missouri Health Care who were tested for pancreatic cancer. They evaluated 16 features of pancreatic biopsies that could be evaluated under a microscope and performed a statistical analysis to determine which could be most reliably identified by multiple pathologists and which were most likely to be associated with pancreatic cancer.

SOURCE

http://medicine.missouri.edu/news/0208.php?elq=0fef1d5f8bdf48c59a79cd939bd95e46&elqCampaignId=9

 

 

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Reported by: Dr. Venkat S. Karra, Ph.D

Carboranes to aid the ability of the cancer drug (it appears applicable to any drug)

Legend has it that Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” University of Missouri researchers are doing just that, but instead of building mousetraps, the scientists are targeting cancer drugs. In a new study, MU medicinal chemists have taken an existing drug that is being developed for use in fighting certain types of cancer, added a special structure to it, and created a more potent, efficient weapon against cancer.

“Over the past decade, we have seen an increasing interest in using carboranes in drug design,” said Mark W. Lee Jr., assistant professor of chemistry in College of Arts and Science. “Carboranes are clusters of three elements—boron, carbon and hydrogen. Carboranes don’t fight cancer directly, but they aid in the ability of a drug to bind more tightly to its target, creating a more potent mechanism for destroying the cancer cells.”

In the study, Lee and his research team used carboranes to build new drugs designed to shut off a cancer cell‘s energy production, which is vital for the cell’s survival. All cells produce energy through complex, multi-step processes. The key to an effective drug is targeting the process that cancer cells depend on more than healthy cells. By increasing the binding strength of a drug, a smaller dose is required, minimizing side effects and increasing the effectiveness of the therapy. With carboranes, Lee found that the drug is able to bind 10 times more powerfully.

“The reason why these drugs bind stronger to their target is because carboranes exploit a unique and very strong form of hydrogen bonding, the strongest form of interactions for drugs,” Lee said.

Lee said that this discovery also will lead to further uses for the drug.

“Too often, after radiation or chemotherapy, cancer cells repair themselves and reinvade the body,” Lee said. “This drug not only selectively shuts off the energy production for the cancer cells, but it also inhibits the processes that allow those cancer cells to repair themselves. When we tested our carborane-based drugs, we found that they were unimaginably potent. So far, we have tested this on breast, lung and colon cancer, all with exceptional results.”

According to Lee, this is the first study to show systematically how carboranes can improve the activity of a drug. Lee believes this discovery will open additional possibilities of improving drugs that are used to treat other diseases, not just cancer.

“The end result is that these new drugs could be many thousands of times more potent than the drugs that are used in the clinics today,” Lee said.

While it will be several years before the new drug would be available on the market, Lee said that clinical trials could begin within the next two years. Additionally, further testing on other types of cancer is underway. The study was published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, a publication of the American Chemical Society.

Source:

rdmag

University of Missouri

 

 

 

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