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New method for early detection of colon cancer
Date:9/3/2013

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Scholtka and colleagues used 80 human colon tissue samples representing cancers and precancers to detect genetic variations using a combination of two techniques: The first technique locked nucleic acid (LNA)-based, wild-type blocking (WTB) polymerase chain reaction suppressed normal DNA present in large quantities in the sample; and the second technique high-resolution melting (HRM) enhanced the detection of genetic variations.

The researchers were able to detect APC variations in 41 of the 80 samples. They were also able to detect previously unknown variations in APC. In contrast, the routinely used technique called direct sequencing could detect variations only in 28 samples.

They then analyzed 22 stool samples from patients whose colon tissues had APC variations, and nine stool samples from patients whose colon tissues did not have APC variations, as controls. They were able to detect APC variations in 21 out of 22 samples.

The researchers also detected variations in the KRAS gene using 20 human colon tissue samples to demonstrate that the WTB-HRM method can be used to detect variations in genes other than APC.

"By using our technique for examining a selection of genes that become mutated during the process of colon cancer formation, it is possible to detect the very first stage of colon cancer and even precancers in a stool sample," said Scholtka. "It will be possible to prevent cancer in many cases by removing the precancerous lesions after early detection."


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Contact: Jeremy Moore
jeremy.moore@aacr.org
215-446-7109
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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