Navigation Links
Bridging the gender gap
Date:7/19/2010

A team led by a Northwestern University biomedical engineer has found that combining novel optical technologies with a common colon cancer screening test may allow doctors to more accurately detect the presence of colon cancer, particularly in women.

The study, led by Vadim Backman, professor of biomedical engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering, in partnership with colleagues at NorthShore University HealthSystem (led by Hemant K. Roy, M.D.), combined a polarization-gating optical probe alongside traditional flexible sigmoidoscopy to measure the early increase in blood supply in rectal tissue as a marker for colon cancer. The results are published this month in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a widely available screening technique that is approved by major guideline organizations. During a flexible sigmoidoscopy exam, doctors use a thin, flexible tube to examine the lower third of the colon. The procedure is an attractive screening mechanism for colon cancer because the test is quick and affordable, can be conducted by a primary care physician and requires simpler bowel preparation than that of a colonoscopy.

However, the test isn't as widely used for colon cancer screening because it only examines a third of the colon, compared to the full colon examination conducted during colonoscopy.

While colon cancer strikes roughly as many women as men, there are significant differences in how the disease presents itself. Women are more likely to have cancerous lesions in the proximal colon, the section of the colon furthest away from the rectum and the part of the colon that isn't examined during flexible sigmoidoscopy. Due to this discrepancy, previous studies found that flexible sigmoidoscopy alone detected only one-third of colon cancer in women.

A 2009 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine called into question the effectiveness of colonoscopy in detecting proximal colon cancer, which raises concern about the disparity between the effectiveness of colon cancer screening techniques for men and women. Given women's proclivity toward proximal tumors the hardest to detect using current technologies researchers are seeking to develop even stronger screening techniques for women.

"Because women are particularly likely to develop cancer in the proximal colon the hardest to detect there is a disparity in screening for colorectal cancer in women," says Roy, director of gastroenterology research at NorthShore University HealthSystem. "This study is one of several efforts to apply new technologies to improve our ability to detect cancer, specifically in women."

The researchers hoped that by combining the test with an optic probe that measures how light scatters through tissue would provide a way to measure very subtle changes in the tissue that can indicate the presence of cancer in the organ. The technology makes use of a biological phenomenon known as the "field effect," a hypothesis that suggests the genetic and environmental milieu that results in a neoplastic lesion in one area of an organ should be detectable throughout the organ and even in neighboring tissue. Backman's group has applied a suite of optical technologies to identify signs of the field effect in colon, pancreatic and lung cancers.

"Using these optical techniques, we can identify very subtle changes in tissue that appears to be normal when examined using traditional techniques," says Backman. "This increased level of detail allows us to discover new markers for disease, which we hope will provide new methods to identify cancer in its earliest stages."

In the study of 366 male and female patients, researchers found the performance characteristics of the test to be very promising. The technique identified with 100 percent accuracy each person who had a neoplasia in the proximal colon. Some people were identified who did not have a tumor; it is uncertain whether this is a false finding or if it means those people could be at risk for developing cancer and need to be watched closely.

When comparing the results for each gender, researchers found that the early increase in blood supply was a particularly robust marker for proximal neoplasia in women. This result provides hope that the technique could provide a mechanism to improve possible discrepancies in the accuracy of colon cancer screening between men and women.

"Our hope is not to replace the colonoscopy, but to develop better screening techniques to determine who needs a colonoscopy," says Backman. "If we can develop something that can be used by a primary care physician, we can vastly increase the number of people who are screened, and ultimately treated, for this disease."


'/>"/>

Contact: Megan Fellman
fellman@northwestern.edu
847-491-3115
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. 10 Songs NOT to Play at Prom; Bridging the Musical Generation Gap
2. Anti-Drinking Ads That Engender Guilt May Not Work
3. New Gender-Neutral Flex-Friendly Certification Makes the Business Case for Flex Even in a Tough Economy.
4. Gender Gaps Persist in Pay at Academic Medical Centers
5. New UCSF Studies Reveal that Age-Related Nerve Decline is Associated with Inflammation and Differs by Gender
6. Even 9-Month-Olds Choose Gender-Specific Toys
7. Myth Debunked: Baby Shower Gifts CAN Be Personalized Without Knowing Name Or Gender
8. Gender Differences Show in Risk of Narcotic Abuse
9. Substance Abuse in Mexican Americans Differs by Gender
10. Babies Responses to Prenatal Stress Differ by Gender
11. Exploring gender differences in colorectal cancer screenings
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s ... Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and the ... published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six children, ... in the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier pilot, ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), one of the Nation’s ... design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support and full ... while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated from an ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Malvern, PA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... is the recipient of a 2017 Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best ... New York City on October 11, 2017. , The annual award competition recognizes editorial ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... in property taxes a year. In some states—like New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, ... contrast, many overseas retirement havens have extremely low property-tax rates, which contributes to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium ... Master File solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master ... , NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has ... clinical programs and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading ... eTMF platform to increase transparency to enable greater ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... 2017 HistoSonics, Inc., a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, ... three leadership team developments today:   ... ... Tom Tefft ... Veteran medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... , Sept. 12, 2017   EcoVadis , the leading platform for ... the first annual edition of its Global CSR Risk and Performance Index. ... by EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings that analyzed nearly 800,000 data points ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: