Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genotyping & Gene Expression
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Key Molecule Could Reveal Many Cancers Early On

Published: Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Bookmark and Share
A technique for monitoring high levels of a protein found in many pre-cancerous cell types – including breast, lung and skin cancer – could be used to detect cancer early.

Their lab study, funded by Cancer Research UK, suggests that the same approach could potentially be used to detect precancerous breast cells, deliver radiotherapy to destroy tumours and monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

The approach makes use of a protein called gamma-H2AX as a marker for DNA damage in an early stage of cancer development.

The Oxford team attached fluorescent markers to an antibody which ‘homes in’ on and attaches to gamma-H2AX. Fluorescent 'snap-shots' of gamma-H2AX then revealed the location of pre-cancerous breast cancer cells at a very early stage.

Professor Katherine Vallis, who led the study at the Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology at Oxford University, said: 'This early research reveals that tracking this important molecule could allow us to detect DNA damage throughout the body. If larger studies confirm this, the protein could provide a new route to detect cancer at its very earliest stage – when it is easier to treat successfully.'

Previously the Oxford team modified an antibody to target gamma-H2AX and deliver radiotherapy to breast cancer cells which contained high levels of the protein. This form of radiotherapy works by boosting DNA damage until cells can no longer repair mistakes – and die.

The results confirmed that the radioactive antibody killed breast cancer cells and slowed tumour growth.

Professor Vallis added: 'We need to confirm these findings in larger studies before we know if this approach could benefit patients. But these initial results show that it may be possible to track down cells with high levels of DNA damage, and destroy them before they became cancerous.

'One day we may be able to scan the body to map out the radioactive antibodies that have attached to the gamma-H2AX molecule. This could also allow doctors to paint a useful picture of how effective a treatment is.'

Dr Julie Sharp, Cancer Research UK’s senior science information manager, said: 'This important study reveals that targeting this key molecule could provide an exciting route for new ways to detect cancer at an earlier stage – and help to deliver radiotherapy and monitor its effect on tumours.'

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Mini DNA Sequencer’s Data Belies its Size
A miniature DNA sequencing device that plugs into a laptop and was developed by Oxford Nanopore has been tested by an open, international consortium, including Oxford University researchers.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
New Insight into Recombination and Sex Chromosomes
Not only does the platypus have some odd physical features, an updated version of its genome has also underscored the unusual genetic characteristics that it harbors.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
New Trial of Personalized Cancer Treatment Begins in Oxford
Phase I trial in Oxford will investigate a new drug, called CXD101.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
TB Vaccine Enters new Clinical Trials Health
The MVA85A vaccine, developed at the University of Oxford, is to enter Phase IIb proof-of-concept clinical trials.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Scientific News
NIH Supports New Studies to Find Alzheimer’s Biomarkers in Down Syndrome
Initiative will track dementia onset, progress in Down syndrome volunteers.
New Gene Map Reveals Cancer’s Achilles’ Heel
Team of researchers switches off almost 18,000 genes
Genetic Basis of Fatal Flu Side Effect Discovered
A group of people with fatal H1N1 flu died after their viral infections triggered a deadly hyperinflammatory disorder in susceptible individuals with gene mutations linked to the overactive immune response, according to a recent study.
New Class of RNA Tumor Suppressors Identified
Two short, “housekeeping” RNA molecules block cancer growth by binding to an important cancer-associated protein called KRAS. More than a quarter of all human cancers are missing these RNAs.
Mathematical Model Forecasts the Path of Breast Cancer
Chances of survival depend on which organs breast cancer tumors colonize first.
Ancient Viral Molecules Essential for Human Development
Genetic material from ancient viral infections is critical to human development, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Measuring microRNAs in Blood to Speed Cancer Detection
A simple, ultrasensitive microRNA sensor holds promise for the design of new diagnostic strategies and, potentially, for the prognosis and treatment of pancreatic and other cancers.
Personalized Drug Screening for Multiple Myeloma Patients
A personalized method for testing the effectiveness of drugs that treat multiple myeloma may predict quickly and more accurately the best treatments for individual patients with the bone marrow cancer.
Metabolic Profiles Distinguish Early Stage Ovarian Cancer with Unprecedented Accuracy
Studying blood serum compounds of different molecular weights has led scientists to a set of biomarkers that may enable development of a highly accurate screening test for early-stage ovarian cancer.
New Way to Force Stem Cells to Become Bone Cells
Potential therapies based on this discovery could help people heal bone injuries or set hardware, such as replacement knees and hips.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos