Monday January 20, 2020

Researchers Develop Nano Technology That Offers Hope For Better Cancer Testing

The study has been published in the journal Advanced Materials

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Breast Cancer
Nano technology offers hope for better cancer testing. Pixabay

Researchers have designed a new nano tool which could become a new way of mining blood samples for information about cancer, according to a study released on Wednesday by the University of Manchester.

Minimally invasive blood tests have the potential to detect and monitor life-threatening diseases such as cancer. But the markers released into the bloodstream as a response to a disease are often difficult to detect because they are too small and too few in number, Xinhua news agency reported.

The study, led by researchers from the University of Manchester showed that small molecules — specifically proteins — stick to the nanoparticles while in the blood circulation of cancer patients. Collecting the nanoparticles from the blood can then allow the analysis of the sticky molecules, some of which are released from the growing cancer.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

“We want to amplify cancer signals in the blood that would otherwise be buried among all this other ‘molecular noise’,” said study author Prof Kostas Kostarelos from Manchester.

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“Our team hopes to discover panels of biomolecules that can point to early warning signs of cancer which will provide the basis for the development of new diagnostic tests”, said Prof Kostarelos.

The study has been published in the journal Advanced Materials. (IANS)

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Males Have Higher Risk of Suffering from Cancer: Study

Researchers explain why cancer risk is higher in males

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Cancer
DNA differences between men and women may explain why cancer risk is higher in males. Pixabay

DNA differences between men and women may explain why cancer risk is higher in males, according to a new study.

In findings published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers have reported that loss of function in certain genes of the sex-determining Y chromosome, which is present only in men, may cause them to have an elevated risk for cancer.

Using data from 9,000 individuals, the researchers studied Y-chromosome gene function in patients with various types of cancer. The findings showed that cancer risk increases with loss of function of six key Y-chromosome genes in various types of cells.

“Recent studies have shown that complete loss of the Y chromosome, which is essential to foetal sex differentiation, occurs, with aging, in the cells of some men,” said study author Juan Ramon Gonzalez from Barcelona Institute for Global Health in Spain.

Cancer DNA
Suppression of the Y chromosome can occur as a result of loss of function in the chromosome. Pixabay

“Although the loss of the Y chromosome has previously been associated with higher incidence of cancer, the causes of this association are poorly understood,” Gonzalez added.

These six Y-chromosome genes are involved in cell-cycle regulation, the failure of which can lead to tumour development.

According to the study, understanding the biological differences between men and women in cancer is crucial for the development of personalised lines of treatment and prevention.

“Men are not only at higher risk of cancer than women, they also face a worse prognosis. In fact, these differences partially account for the lower life expectancy of men,” Gonzalez added.

According to the researchers, although men may be more exposed to carcinogens due to the type of work they do and at higher risk because they are less likely to consult a doctor, the study has shown that there are also biological factors that increase cancer risk among men.

“In fact, it seems that one of these factors can be found in the Y chromosome, the very essence of maleness,” said study lead author Alejandro Caceres.

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Suppression of the Y chromosome can occur as a result of loss of function in the chromosome, which would explain previous findings, or as a result of other mechanisms mediated by the chemical (epigenetic) inactivation of the same regions, the research said.

“Certain environmental exposures, for example to tobacco or other harmful substances, could affect chromosome function and lead to epigenetic modifications,” Gonzalez said. (IANS)