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Advance in using biopsy samples in understanding environmental causes of cancer
Date:9/9/2013

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 9, 2013 In an advance in determining the role of environmental agents in causing cancer, scientists today described development of a long-sought way to use biopsy samples from cancer patients to check on human exposure to substances that damage the genetic material DNA in ways that can cause cancer.

Their report on the method, which taps into a treasure trove of medical information in biopsy samples of patients, was part of the 246th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society. The meeting features almost 7,000 reports on new advances in science and other topics. Being held at the Indiana Convention Center and downtown hotels, it continues through Thursday.

"This is the first successful use of archived biopsy samples in analyzing exposure and DNA damage, by mass spectrometric methods, of cancer patients to an environmental carcinogen," said Robert J. Turesky, Ph.D., who led the research. "It clears the way for use of this huge resource of archived biopsy samples for gaining insights into cancer and other diseases."

Byeong Hwa Yun, Ph.D., who collaborates with Turesky, gave the presentation. They conducted the study in collaboration with Arthur P. Grollman, M.D., and his associates at Stony Brook University, N.Y.; and with Dr. Bojan Jelaković (University of Zagreb) and Dr. Jovan Nikolić (Clinical Center, Belgrade), and their associates. Yun explained that the samples came from an archive of what scientists term "formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues." After doctors take a biopsy, the sample gets preserved in a solution of formaldehyde called formalin. Pathology lab workers then embed the tissue in a block of wax, and shave off slices as thin as paper so a pathologist can examine it microscopically for cancer or other diseases.

The remaining wax block of tissue typically goes into storage and can be kept indefinitely at room tempera
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Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
317-262-5907 (Indianapolis Press Center, Sept. 6-11)
202-872-6042

Michael Woods
m_woods@acs.org
317-262-5907 (Indianapolis Press Center, Sept. 6-11)
202-872-6293

American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert


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