Scientists develop technology to detect cancer

April 20, 2005

Researchers at the University of Liverpool have developed a breakthrough technology that identifies molecular markers in early lung cancer.

The new technology, created in collaboration with SEQUENOM, developers of genetic analysis products, and Methexis Genomics, uses a DNA analysis technique called methylation profiling to detect cells in the lung that are likely to become cancerous.

There are a number of genetic mechanisms that can alter the characteristics of a normal cell and change it into a cancer cell. One of these mechanisms is methylation, which causes a change in the DNA structure of particular genes and results in altering its control - this may switch the gene on or off at the wrong time in the cell cycle.

Dr Lakis Liloglou, Head of the University's Lung Cancer Molecular Biomarkers Group, explains: "This is of particular importance in lung cancer research, as the changes in methylation status of the DNA are considered to be a marker for early disease detection.

"Even though DNA methylation analysis has been a previous area of research, prior techniques had a range of technical limitations, that prevented them from being of any real clinical use. This newly developed method overcomes many of the problems and combines the sensitivity of high-powered microscopes with the capability of analysing many samples at a time."

As part of their research to develop the new technology, the team, based at the University of Liverpool Cancer Research Centre, analysed the methylation profile of 47 genes in lung specimens from 48 patients with a history of smoking. The genes that were selected were known to be involved in cancer development and in this study they were able to accurately determine the relationship between gene methylation in normal and tumour tissue, which in the long term will be of enormous value in identifying high risk individuals.

Professor John Field, Director of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Research Programme, said: "Early detection of lung cancer is the prime objective of our research programme. This depends on the identification of early biomarkers in patients who are at risk of developing the disease prior to clinical symptoms."

"The partnership between the University and Sequenom has provided a breakthrough in our goal to detect early genetic changes in individuals who are at the highest risk."
-end-
The research is being presented this week at the 96th annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Anaheim, California.

University of Liverpool

Related Lung Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

State-level lung cancer screening rates not aligned with lung cancer burden in the US
A new study reports that state-level lung cancer screening rates were not aligned with lung cancer burden.

The lung microbiome may affect lung cancer pathogenesis and prognosis
Enrichment of the lungs with oral commensal microbes was associated with advanced stage disease, worse prognosis, and tumor progression in patients with lung cancer, according to results from a study published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

New analysis finds lung cancer screening reduces rates of lung cancer-specific death
Low-dose CT screening methods may prevent one death per 250 at-risk adults screened, according to a meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled clinical trials of lung cancer screening.

'Social smokers' face disproportionate risk of death from lung disease and lung cancer
'Social smokers' are more than twice as likely to die of lung disease and more than eight times as likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Lung cancer therapy may improve outcomes of metastatic brain cancer
A medication commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread, or metastasized, may have benefits for patients with metastatic brain cancers, suggests a new review and analysis led by researchers at St.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Lung transplant patients face elevated lung cancer risk
In an American Journal of Transplantation study, lung cancer risk was increased after lung transplantation, especially in the native (non-transplanted) lung of single lung transplant recipients.

Proposed cancer treatment may boost lung cancer stem cells, study warns
Epigenetic therapies -- targeting enzymes that alter what genes are turned on or off in a cell -- are of growing interest in the cancer field as a way of making a cancer less aggressive or less malignant.

Are you at risk for lung cancer?
This question isn't only for people who've smoked a lot.

Read More: Lung Cancer News and Lung Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.