Navigation Links
Proteins could help women avoid thyroid surgery

AUGUSTA, Ga. Dr. Paul Weinberger wants to make thyroid cancer diagnosis as simple and accurate as checking for high cholesterol.

About 30 percent of women have a thyroid growth in their lifetime, the vast majority of which is not cancer, said Weinberger, otolaryngologist at Georgia Health Sciences University. In about 80 percent of cases, physicians can rule out cancer based on the shape of biopsied thyroid cells.

It's the remaining 20 percent that are problematic: 75 percent are benign but there is no way to be sure without surgery.

"The vast majority of patients who get this indeterminate answer end up having at least part of their thyroid gland removed," Weinberger said. "And we end up saying afterward: 'Oh, good news, this was not cancer.'"

Weinberger wants to help women avoid unnecessary surgery with the help of a Young Investigator Combined Award from the American Head and Neck Society/American Academy Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation.

"That is the Holy Grail everybody is looking for: blood-based biomarkers of cancer," Weinberger said.

He's looking at two proteins, Galectin-3 and HBME-1, about which little is known other than they are found at elevated levels in thyroid cancer. While still a resident at GHSU, Weinberger was honored by the Head and Neck Society for his role in linking Galectin-3 to thyroid cancer. Three years ago GHSU and other centers started checking Galectin-3 levels as part a definitive cancer diagnosis in surgically removed thyroid tissue. More recently, HBME-1testing also was added.

But Weinberger believes those proteins could tell the tale much earlier as biomarkers in the few cells removed during a needle biopsy. Using super-sensitive mass spectrometry technology developed to detect trace amounts of drugs and other substances in forensic pathology and now used in major research centers, he'll examine the biopsied cells collected over three years from 50 patients to look at levels of both proteins. He can then correlate those with pathology findings from the surgically removed thyroid. He's tested the concept in purified proteins and some cell lines. If the relationship holds that elevated protein levels equal cancer in the patient samples, the next step would be a prospective study in current patients before seeking Food and Drug Administration approval.

He's stored the existing samples at room temperature to make sure the proteins are stable enough to be functional biomarkers so that referring physicians, for example, could one day send tissue samples to centers such as GHSU with mass spectrometry capabilities.

Weinberger noted that even benign thyroid growths sometimes necessitate surgery because of airway and/or swallowing problems. An ultrasound of the growth determines whether a biopsy is needed.

While the cause of thyroid disease is essentially unknown, the thyroid is one of the most metabolically active areas of the body; it receives as much blood flow as the brain and constantly produces hormones essential to regulating the metabolism, Weinberger said.


Contact: Toni Baker
Georgia Health Sciences University

Related medicine news :

1. Small Study Suggests Milk, Soy Proteins Lower Blood Pressure Modestly
2. Proteins used to map the aging process
3. Deadly bacteria may mimic human proteins to evolve antibiotic resistance
4. NIH scientists identify most proteins made by parasitic worm
5. Cell rigidity linked to activity in proteins associated with cancer
6. 2 defective proteins conspire to impair the nerve cells powerhouse in Alzheimers disease
7. Scientists design new anti-flu virus proteins using computational methods
8. Step in breakdown of HIV proteins essential to recognition, destruction of infected cells
9. Discovery of relationship between proteins may impact development of cancer therapies
10. Pitt-Stanford research suggests aimless proteins crucial to disease
11. 2 proteins play key roles in Burkitts lymphoma
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Proteins could help women avoid thyroid surgery
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... The holiday season is jam-packed with ... palates of attendees is of the utmost importance. Whether you are cooking at ... these recipes a try this holiday season. , Turkey Croquettes , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... European Union (EU), ANDI Pan African Centres of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, ... (UNON) for the opening of the 5th African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... OH (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental ... implants in Cleveland, OH , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant ... this year in Cleveland, OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Smiles by Stevens is pleased to announce the ... While many patients are aware of the benefits of Botox® in the treatment of ... suffering with discomfort, soreness, and pain as a result of Jaw Tension, TMJ (temporo-mandibular ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the bus, I saw a ... “I thought there had to be a convenient and comfortable way to protect them ... enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In doing so, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the Japanese ... Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" report ... --> This new 247-page report ... drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... by Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, Active Wound Care), Application ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2020" report ... --> The purpose of this report is ... global advanced wound care market. It involves deep dive ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents ... Industry, Academics, Clinical Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, ... to 2020" report to their offering. ... the addition of the "Radioimmunoassay Market ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: