Navigation Links
Catching the early spread of breast cancer
Date:3/19/2014

DALLAS, March 19, 2014 When cancer spreads from one part of the body to another, it becomes even more deadly. It moves with stealth and can go undetected for months or years. But a new technology that uses "nano-flares" has the potential to catch these lurking, mobilized tumor cells early on. Today, scientists presented the latest advances in nano-flare technology as it applies to the detection of metastatic breast cancer cells.

The report was one of more than 10,000 at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The meeting is taking place here through Thursday.

"We've taken perhaps the world's most important molecule, DNA, rearranged it into a spherical shape and modified it to detect specific molecules inside cells. These structures naturally enter cells and light up when they detect disease-causing molecules," said Chad Mirkin, Ph.D., who is collaborating with C. Shad Thaxton, M.D., Ph.D., to develop the new technology. "We're seeing if we can use nano-flares to create a new type of breast cancer diagnostic, and the early results are remarkable. Nano-flares could completely and radically change how we diagnose breast cancer."

Earlier is better when it comes to cancer detection, but sometimes, by the time a patient notices symptoms and visits a doctor, the first tumor has already spread from its original location in the body to another. It has undergone "metastasis," a state that causes many deaths related to cancer. Cancer took the lives of more than 8 million people worldwide in 2012.

To catch breast cancer and possibly other types of cancers earlier, the research groups built upon Mirkin's ongoing program that kicked off in the 1990s with the invention of "spherical nucleic acids" (SNAs). SNAs are usually made out of a gold nanoparticle core covered with densely packed, short strands of DNA.

"We thought that if we could get large amounts of nucleic acids to go inside cells, we could manipulate and measure things inside cells," said Mirkin, of Northwestern University. "Most people said we were wasting our time, but then out of curiosity, we put these particles in cell culture. Not only did we find that they go in, they went in better than any material known to man."

Taking advantage of their ability to enter cells easily, Mirkin's group set out to turn SNAs into a diagnostic tool the nano-flare. Recently, he and Thaxton designed these particles, which enter circulating healthy and unhealthy cells in blood samples, but light up only inside breast cancer cells.

"Nano-flares can detect just a few cancer cells in a sea of healthy cells," Mirkin said. "That's important because when cancer spreads, only a few cells may break off from the original tumor and go into the bloodstream. An added bonus of these particles is that scientists may be able to sample the live cancerous cells and figure out what therapies they might respond to."

The groups have successfully tested the nano-flares' ability to identify metastatic breast cancer cells in blood samples from animals and are currently experimenting with human samples.

"If the work pans out, a commercial diagnostic test could be available in the near future," Thaxton said.

In addition to diagnostics, it turns out nano-flares can be used to perform other unique and valuable tasks.

"Nano-flares represent the only way to measure genetic content in live cells," Mirkin said. This kind of real-time observation could be useful in many areas of research and could lead to clinical advances. For example, using nano-flares, scientists can see how drugs target different genes. This would help them develop better treatments. One company, Millipore, has already commercialized the particles for use in research labs under the name SmartFlaresTM and offers more than 1,200 variations.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Bernstein
214-853-8005 (Dallas Press Center, March 14-19)
202-872-6042
m_bernstein@acs.org

Contact: Katie Cottingham, Ph.D.
214-853-8005 (Dallas Press Center, March 14-19)
301-775-8455
k_cottingham@acs.org

American Chemical Society


Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Early detection of childhood eye cancer doesnt always improve survival, prevent eye loss
2. Primary androgen deprivation therapy ineffective for most men with early prostate cancer
3. PSA-testing and early treatment decreases risk of prostate cancer death
4. Early detection helps manage a chronic graft-vs.-host disease complication
5. Food allergy nearly doubles among black children
6. Mandatory arrest in domestic violence call-outs causes early death in victims
7. Type 1 diabetes: Vitamin D deficiency occurs in an early stage
8. Study shows preventive ovarian surgery in BRCA1 mutation carriers should be performed early
9. Frequent school moves can increase the risk of psychotic symptoms in early adolescence
10. LGB individuals living in anti-gay communities die early
11. New study explains how dense breast tissue drives the early stages of cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... Park, KS (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... a leader in Mole removal products. , Moles are derived from a cluster of ... appear in all the wrong places and create a lifetime of embarrassment. Historically, ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... , ... Guruji Mahendra Kumar Trivedi is offering 3 days of accelerated personal ... birthday on February 10th. During this time, people can achieve better health, greater ... people from over 40 different countries as an “ordinary man with an extraordinary gift.” ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... ... According to research by the National Association of Dental ... certified or obtain continuing education. To increase patient awareness of the lack of ... to inform dentists and patients about the possible lack of skills and knowledge ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 07, 2016 , ... Women's Excellence ... National Wear Red Day. National Wear Red Day is the first Friday each ... Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – ...
(Date:2/7/2016)... AZ (PRWEB) , ... February 07, 2016 , ... ... Neck and Facial Plastics, has added Kybella® to his medical and surgical expertise. ... a newly approved FDA injectable medication used as a non-surgical alternative for reduction ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... India , February 8, 2016 ... a new market research report "Ablation Technologies Market by ... (Csardiovascular, Cancer, Pain Management, Cosmetic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Gynecology) - ... studies the global market over the forecast period of ... $4.44 Billion by 2020, at CAGR of 10.5% from ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Kan. , Feb. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... organization that formerly specialized in the development ... recently announced that it has divided its ... Capital. While Nueterra Capital will continue the ... services, NueHealth will operate a national system ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  A research team ... scientists has discovered details of how the abnormal breakage ... a particularly aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). ... which genetic mutations trigger overproduction of immature cells, called ... The discoveries of the malfunction underlying the type called ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: