Navigation Links
Genetic markings could spot cancer before it develops
Date:9/30/2013

Unique DNA markings on certain genes may "predict" the risk of developing head and neck cancer, according to new research led by Queen Mary University of London.

The findings, published today in the journal Cancer, raise the potential for the development of non-invasive tests which could pick up these tell-tale signs of early cancer initiation.

Head and neck cancers are cancers that develop anywhere in the head and neck, including mouth cancer and throat cancer. About 16,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with head and neck cancer every year*.

In this study scientists analysed clinical specimens of malignant tissue from 93 cancer patients from Norway and the UK. These were compared with either tissue donated by healthy individuals undergoing wisdom tooth extractions, or with non-cancerous tissue from the same patients.

They were trying to identify whether there were any epigenetic changes in the cancerous cells which were not seen in the healthy cells. Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence.

Not all genes are active all the time and there are many ways that gene expression is controlled. DNA methylation marks act as 'switches', either turning genes on or off. Abnormal DNA methylation is known to precede cancer initiation.

Lead researcher Dr Muy Teck-Teh, from the Institute of Dentistry at Queen Mary, said: "In this study we have identified four genes which were either over or under-expressed in head and neck cancer. The expression of these genes was inversely correlated with particular DNA methylation marks, suggesting the genes are epigenetically modified in these cancers.

"These epigenetic markers could be clinically exploited as biomarkers for early pre-cancer screening of head and neck cancer. However, further work is needed, as we are purely at the discovery stage at the moment and have not used this as a diagnostic test as yet.

"The eventual aim would be to test asymptomatic patients and/or people with unknown mouth lesions. An advantage of epigenetic DNA markers is that it may be possible to measure them using non-invasive specimens. So it could enable the use of saliva, buccal scrapes or blood serum for early cancer screening, diagnosis and prognosis."

Consultant oral and maxillofacial surgeon Professor Iain Hutchison, co-author on the study, said he was excited by the possibility of diagnostic tests as a result of the research.

"All of us mouth cancer surgeons want to catch the cancer early when the chances of cure are high and the effects of surgery on the patient are minimal. A simple test using the patient's blood or saliva could mean many patients with pre-cancer changes in the mouth or throat will be treated early and the cancer will never progress."

The study was partly funded by the research charity Saving Faces The Facial Surgery Research Foundation. Professor Hutchison founded the charity, which aims to reduce facial injuries and diseases through medical research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Bridget Dempsey
press@qmul.ac.uk
020-788-27943
Queen Mary, University of London
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Do elite power sport athletes have a genetic advantage?
2. Genetic makeup and diet interact with the microbiome to impact health
3. Chronic aggressive behavior in boys: Epigenetic sources?
4. Researchers to identify genetic biomarkers for aggressive breast cancer
5. New NIH grants to investigate disease-related variations in genetic makeup
6. Peering into Genetic Defects, CU Scientists Discover a New Metabolic Disease
7. Cleveland Clinic researcher finds genetic mutation in castration-resistant prostate cancer
8. New, robust treatment for stroke uses genetic material from bone marrow
9. American Scientists Attempt to Sequence John Lennon's Genetic Code from the Beatle's Tooth
10. A genetic answer to the Alzheimers riddle?
11. Genetic Testing for Kidney Disease Among African-Americans with Hypertension to Become Part of Primary Care Offerings Through Mount Sinai and Partners
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... DC (PRWEB) , ... February ... ... Siemens Foundation today announced a new initiative—the Siemens Foundation-PATH Ingenuity Fellowships—to develop ... The partnership will recruit top students from U.S. universities who will draw ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Each year, the American Physical Therapy Association ... CA at the Anaheim Convention Center. Almost 10,000 physical therapists across the country are ... action, learn more about their chosen field and network with their colleagues. As ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... Leadership Series at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on April 5-7. The series ... behaviors and create new habits. The workshops cover a broad range of topics, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... AssureVest ... surrounding areas, is initiating a charity drive that will raise funds earmarked to purchase ... John C. Tayloe Elementary School. , “My school is in a low-income area and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Young Asset Protection, a ... beginning of the latest charity campaign in their community enrichment program. Art Expression ... this worthy cause are currently being accepted at: http://artexpressioninc.org/ . , Art ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016  Apellis ... completed a $47.1 million Series D preferred ... Asset Management, Hillhouse Capital Group and venBio ... Venture Investments, AJU IB Investment, and Epidarex ... used to further advance clinical trials in ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... -- The primary goal of this research is to ... usage of liquid biopsy. Key information the survey seeks ... of liquid biopsy adoption amidst future users - Predominantly ... - Sample inflow to conduct liquid biopsy tests - ... so on. - Correlation analysis of sample type and ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 11, 2016  Kindred ... focused on saving and improving the lives of pets, ... Technical Section of the New Animal Drug Application (NADA) ... the pivotal field study (KB0120) of Zimeta for the ... by the Company. --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: