breastcancer.jpgResearchers at the University of Oslo (UiO) have developed a completely new method for differentiating between breast cancer patients with high and low risks of dying from the illness.

'Current methods cannot predict who will do well and who will not. We have wanted to identify the very seriously ill patients so that they can receive aggressive treatment', says Hege Russnes at the Department of Pathology and the Department of Medical Genetics at the Oslo University Hospital and UiO.

To be on the safe side, many breast cancer patients are treated unnecessarily with chemotherapy.

pet_scan_2.jpgParticle physicists have developed a new medical technology that combines PET and MRI in one. Benefit: Improved image quality and less radiation.

Current cancer examinations involve high levels of radiation. Based on the Big Bang research in CERN, particle physicists at University in Oslo have created a brand new technology that combines the PET and MR medical imaging technologies. This combination involves much less radiation than current technology. 

Tiny particles that measure microRNA levels in tissue samples could help diagnose and monitor many diseases.

About 10 years ago, scientists discovered a new type of genetic material called microRNA, which appears to turn genes on or off inside a cell. More recently, they found that these genetic snippets often go haywire in cancer cells, contributing to tumors’ uncontrollable growth.

A team of researchers at MIT has now engineered a way to detect abnormal microRNA levels in the blood of cancer patients, raising the possibility of developing a simple blood test to diagnose or monitor the disease.

by Rebecca Ruiz-McGill

Two University of Arizona researchers have formed a research team to design, build and evaluate two versions of an ovarian cancer medical imaging and screening instrument that will use holographic components in a new type of optical microscope.

Raymond Kostuk and Jennifer Barton have secured a five-year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to build the instrument that they hope will one day be used to monitor women at high risk for ovarian cancer.  Kostuk is the Kenneth Von Behren Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor of optical sciences.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have identified a new biological marker present in the urine of patients with prostate cancer that indicates whether the cancer is progressing and spreading.

In experiments reported in the February 12, 2009, issue of the journal Nature, the scientists identified 10 metabolites that become more abundant in prostate cells as cancer progresses. Their studies showed that one of these chemicals, sarcosine, helps prostate cancer cells invade surrounding tissue.

Some colon cancers are destined to spread to the liver and other parts of the body, whereas others are successfully treated by surgical removal of the tumor. Now, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators have found that the ability of a colon tumor to metastasize arises early in its development.

Those colon cancers that spread carry the ability to metastasize from the time they become cancerous, the researchers found. They don't need to acquire any new genetic mutations to become metastatic. The research also suggests that once a colon carcinoma develops, if it is going to spread outside the colon, it will do so in less than two years.

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This news service is provided by Good Samaritan Institute, located in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

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