Tag Archives: blood test

Blood Test Predicts Breast Cancer Relapse

Using data from a person’s immune response, researchers have devised a blood test that may accurately predict the risk of breast cancer recurrence. Despite scientific advancements in breast cancer research, this type continues to be the leading cancer among women in the United States and the second deadliest after lung cancer. Many breast cancer survivors live with a continual worry that the condition will reemerge, while researchers are hard at work, trying to discern patterns of breast cancer recurrence. For instance, studies of breast cancer receptors show that estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancers are more likely to recur in the first 5 years after diagnosis, while ER-positive breast cancers are associated with a higher risk of recurrence in the following 10 years.

New research looks at the body’s antitumor inflammatory response to devise a blood test that may soon predict a person’s chances of experiencing breast cancer recurrence. Dr. Peter P. Lee, chair of the Department of Immuno-Oncology at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, in Duarte, CA, is the senior author of the new study, which appears in the journal Nature ImmunologyThe balance between the immune system’s pro- and anti-inflammatory signaling in response to cytokines can determine a person’s antitumor immune reaction, explain Dr. Lee and colleagues in their paper.

For the study, the researchers recruited 40 breast cancer survivors and clinically followed them for a median period of 4 years. The researchers also used an additional sample of 38 breast cancer survivors to attempt to replicate their findings from the previous group. A person with cancer tends to have peripheral blood regulatory T cells (T-reg cells, for short) with less active pro-inflammatory cytokine signaling pathways and more active immune suppressive cytokine signaling pathways, explain the researchers.

Using this signaling data, the scientists created an index. The hope is that, eventually, healthcare professionals will be able to run data of a blood sample from a breast cancer survivor through an algorithm based on Lee and the team’s cytokine signaling index. The goal is for physicians and breast cancer patients to know the risk of the disease recurring within the next 3–5 years.

Knowing the chance of cancer relapse will inform doctors how aggressive a particular patient’s cancer treatment should be,” Dr. Lee explains. “The [cytokine signaling index] is an overall reflection of a patient’s immune system at diagnosis, which we now know is a major determinant of future relapse.

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/

Nanobiochip Detects Minute Levels Of Disease

The difficulty in spotting minute amounts of disease circulating in the bloodstream has proven a stumbling block in the detection and treatment of cancers that advance stealthily with few symptoms. With a novel electrochemical biosensing device that identifies the tiniest signals these biomarkers emit, a pair of NJIT inventors are hoping to bridge this gap. Their work in disease detection is an illustration of the power of electrical sensing – and the growing role of engineers – in medical research.

Ideally, there would be a simple, inexpensive test – performed at a regular patient visit in the absence of specific symptoms – to screen for some of the more silent, deadly cancers,” says Bharath Babu Nunna, a recent Ph.D. graduate who worked with Eon Soo Lee, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, to develop a nanotechnology-enhanced biochip to detect cancers, malaria and viral diseases such as pneumonia early in their progression with a pin prick blood test.

Their device includes a microfluidic channel through which a tiny amount of drawn blood flows past a sensing platform coated with biological agents that bind with targeted biomarkers of disease in body fluids such as blood, tears and urine – thereby triggering an electrical nanocircuit that signals their presence. In research recently published in Nano Covergence, Nunna and his co-authors demonstrated the use of gold nanoparticles to enhance the sensor signal response of their device in cancer detection, among other findings.

One of the device’s core innovations is the ability to separate blood plasma from whole blood in its microfluidic channels. Blood plasma carries the disease biomarkers and it is therefore necessary to separate it to enhance the “signal to noise ratio” in order to achieve a highly accurate test. The standalone device analyzes a blood sample within two minutes with no need for external equipment.

Our approach detects targeted disease biomolecules at the femto scale concentration, which is smaller than nano and even pico scale, and is akin to searching for a planet in a galaxy cluster. Current sensing technology is limited to concentrations a thousand times larger. Using a nanoscale platform allows us to identify these lower levels of disease,” Nunna says, adding, “And by separating the plasma from the blood, we are able to concentrate the disease biomarkers.”

Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/