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Stanford computer algorithm used to identify bladder cancer marker
Date:1/17/2012

ch strategy had been demonstrated in a research paper published in PNAS in 2010 that looked at development of immunological cells in mice (http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2010/march/boolean.html). Using this technique, they found another molecule, keratin-14, that was associated with less-differentiated, more-primitive bladder cells.

With this information in hand, they hypothesized that bladder cancers generally come in three types corresponding to the different forms of keratin, and that the bladder cancer cells making keratin-14 would be the most malignant. The researchers then found cell surface markers unique to each of these types of cells and used antibodies to collect purified cells for further experiment.

The validity of this approach was confirmed when the scientists analyzed pathological samples from former bladder cancer patients and found that the presence of cells creating keratin-14 were indeed associated with worse prognoses. The researchers also used their antibodies to isolate different types of bladder cancer cells and showed that the "primitive" cells associated with keratin-14 could cause the most aggressive cancer when transplanted into mice.

While a bladder cancer test that uses antibody staining will not replace staging and grading by a pathologist, it offers additional information that can lead to more accurate diagnosis. "It also can provide rapid information about the cancer in rural areas or poor countries where a pathologist experienced with bladder cancer may not be immediately available," said Sahoo, the researcher who developed the Boolean search algorithm.


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Contact: Krista Conger
kristac@stanford.edu
650-725-5371
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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