Current Month 2006
Article Features
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Dietary Modifications May Not Benefit Cancer Patients
Exercise Decreases Pain and Improves Quality of Life for Breast Cancer Survivors
A Common Gene Variation May Affect Breast Cancer Survival
Specific Genetic Variation Not Linked to Breast Cancer Risk
Gene Mutations Don't Add to the Risk of Blood Clots in Women Taking Tamoxifen
Drug Combination May Slow Male Breast Cancer Growth
Creating Anti-Cancer Molecules to Enhance Treatment of Breast Cancer
Targeting a Protein that Protects Tumors
Patient Navigators May Improve Cancer Care for Racial and Ethnic Minorities
Concentrated Doses of Radiotherapy Shown to be Better in Treating Breast Cancer
Gene Screen for Breast Cancer Better than Pathologistís Eye
Study Says Mouse Breast Stem Cells Are Similar to Aggressive Human Breast Cancer
Tamoxifen for Breast Cancer Prevention Does Not Benefit Most Women
Weight Gain May Increase Risk of Breast Cancer in Postmenopausal Women

Gene Screen for Breast Cancer Better than Pathologist's Eye

Johns Hopkins scientists have found that a method they developed to screen body fluids for certain kinds of cells and some of their genetic blueprint is twice as accurate at spotting breast cancer cells as a pathologist's view with a microscope.

The screen, developed by Sara Sukumar, Ph.D. and Mary Jo Fackler, Ph.D., first separates cells from fluid, then sifts through the cells' DNA for chemical tags on certain genes associated with cancer.

Reporting in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the scientists say they have tested their screening tool on breast fluid, in search of cells shed from growing tumors.

"This screening method can see what the eye cannot see," says Sukumar, who is the Barbara B. Rubenstein Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. "It can be a valuable tool, in combination with pathological review, for breast cancer as well as other diseases where fluid can be obtained relatively easily, such as lung, head and neck cancers, pancreatic and cervical cancers."

Pathologists look for telltale shapes of cells to determine if cancer is present, but molecular changes in cells, especially for early cancers, are beyond the reach of even the most powerful microscopes.

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