Navigation Links
Scattered light rapidly detects tumor response to chemotherapy
Date:2/2/2009

DURHAM, N.C. -- New technology developed by Duke University bioengineers can help clinicians more precisely detect whether specific cancer drugs are working, and should give basic researchers a powerful new tool to better understand the underlying mechanisms of cancer development.

By interpreting how beams of light scatter off of tumor cell samples, researchers can determine if cancer cells are responding to chemotherapeutic agents within a matter of hours.

Most chemotherapy drugs work by forcing cancer cells to commit cellular suicide, a process known as apoptosis. As cells undergo this process, bodies within the cell, such as the nucleus or mitochondria, go through structural changes. Using the new approach, researchers can analyze the light scattered by these bodies to detect the apoptotic changes in real time.

"The new technology allowed us to detect the tell-tale signs of apoptosis in human breast cancer cells in as little as 90 minutes," said Adam Wax, associate professor of biomedical engineering and senior member of the research team. "Currently, it can take between six and eight weeks to detect these changes clinically. It appears that this approach has the potential to be helpful in both clinical and laboratory settings."

The results of the Duke team's experiments were published in the February issue of Cancer Research.

The light-scattering technology is known as angle-resolved low coherence interferometry (a/LCI). In this process, light is shined into a cell sample and sensors capture and analyze the light as it is scattered back. The technique is able to provide representations of sub-cellular structure without disrupting the cells, and can be used to scan a large number of cells in a short time.

"Now, oncologists typically judge if a chemotherapeutic agent is working by looking for shrinkage in the tumor using imaging techniques, such as MRI or PET, or pathological response at time of surgery" said Julie Ostrander, Duke molecular cancer biologist, who along with Duke bioengineer Kevin Chalut were the paper's first authors.

"If we had a way to detect early on in the apoptotic process whether or not a drug was working, patients would not have to wait weeks to months to find out," Ostrander said. "The idea that you could shine a light at a tumor and use the light-scattering pattern to measure the success of drugs is a big step forward."

For their experiments, the Duke team studied a well-known cell culture line of human breast cancer. The cells were exposed to two common chemotherapy drugs, doxorubicin and paclitaxel. Using the a/LCI technology, the researchers looked for specific patterns, which indicate that structural changes have occurred.

The researchers found that when compared to control cells, the paclitaxel-treated cells began showing significant increases in a pattern called fractal dimension within 90 minutes. Doxorubicin-treated cells exhibited the same increases within three hours. Interestingly, the fractal dimensions began decreasing at six hours, only to increase again within 12 hours of treatment.

"The fact that the changes in structure appear over two distinct time scales suggests that multiple mechanisms are involved in these early events in apoptosis," Wax said. "Further analysis showed the early changes we observed were taking place in the mitochondria, while the changes in the structure of the nucleus were responsible for the later ones."

Ostrander said that this technology will help laboratory investigators like her determine how cancer cells become resistant to apoptosis, and therefore are resistant to drugs. Before this technique can be employed for human breast cancer, further studies will be carried out in animals.

Wax and colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are currently conducting a pilot clinical trial in humans using a similar technology for early detection of pre-cancerous cells in the epithelial lining of the esophagus, a condition known as Barrett's Esophagus.


'/>"/>

Contact: Richard Merritt
richard.merritt@duke.edu
919-660-8414
Duke University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scattered nature of Wisconsins woodlands could complicate forests response to climate change
2. Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
3. September Geology and GSA Today media highlights
4. Highlights from the September 2007 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
5. Genome study shines light on genetic link to height
6. Pig study sheds new light on the colonisation of Europe by early farmers
7. Researchers developing device to predict proper light exposure for human health
8. AGU journal highlights -- Sept. 6, 2007
9. IDEMA Reveals Program Highlights for DISKCON USA 2007
10. Men shed light on the mystery of human longevity, study finds
11. Zebrafish to shed light on human mitochondrial diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2016)... , March 9, 2016 This BCC Research ... states of the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) market for ... as instruments, tools and reagents, data analysis, and services. ... segments of the RNA-Sequencing market such as RNA-Sequencing tools ... the main factors affecting each segment and forecast their ...
(Date:3/8/2016)... N.C. , March 8, 2016   ... sensor technology, today announced it has secured $11M ... by GII Tech, a new venture fund being ... with additional participation from existing investors TDF Ventures ... the funds to continue its triple-digit growth and ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... DE SOTO, Kansas , March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... offer Oncimmune,s Early CDT®-Lung, a blood test to ... lung cancer Early CDT®-Lung test to its ... --> Early CDT®-Lung test to its clients which ... Oncimmune, a leader in early cancer detection, today announced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... During a two day program ... viable company, CereScan’s CEO, John Kelley, joined other Denver business leaders in providing ... in the Denver area business community, shared his top fundamental learnings in building ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... YORK , April 28, 2016 ... acceleration company reports the Company,s CEO  was featured ... titled Accelerators Enter When VCs Fear To Tread: ... Science Leader magazine is an essential ... for everything from emerging biotechs to Big Pharmas. ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Cambridge Semantics, the leading provider of Smart Data ... has been named to The Silicon Review’s “20 Fastest Growing Big Data Companies of ... serves the needs of end users facing some of the most complex data challenges ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... Md. and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, ... Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR ) announced today that ... Officer, of United Therapeutics will provide an overview and ... 41 st Annual Health Care Conference. ... 2016, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and can be ...
Breaking Biology Technology: