Using human cancer cells, tumor and blood samples from cancer patients, researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine have uncovered the role of a neurotransmitter in the spread of aggressive cancers. Neurotransmitters are chemical "messengers" that transmit impulses from neurons to other target cells.
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Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a chronic metabolic disorder that affects roughly 8.5% of the world’s population, i.e., over 420 million people. In the last three decades or so, rates of diabetes have almost doubled which can be attributed to adoption of western eating habits and increased urbanization in many developing countries.
Imaging tools like X-rays and MRI have revolutionized medicine by giving doctors a close up view of the brain and other vital organs in living, breathing people. Now, Columbia University researchers report a new way to zoom in at the tiniest scales to track changes within individual cells.
TISSUE DIAGNOSTICS SUCCESSFULLY TESTED
Today physicians are still severely hampered by the lack of precision of the needle tip location during a biopsy. Looking at lung cancers, 25% of the diagnoses suffer a false negative outcome through traditional biopsy methods. In the future, this can be avoided: for the first time, the European project InSPECT developed miniature spectrometers with integrated light sources enabling guided sensing.
A new approach to analyzing prostate gland tissue may help address a major challenge in treating prostate cancer - determining which tumors are unlikely to progress and which could be life threatening and require treatment. In their report published in the journal Scientific Reports, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators describe how cellular metabolites - proteins produced as the results metabolic processes - in apparently benign tissues from cancerous prostates not only can determine the grade and stage of the tumor but also can predict its risk of recurrence.
Early diagnosis in thyroid cancer can improve a patient's likelihood of recovery, but current screening methods use instruments with poor sensitivity and can yield inaccurate results. Consequently, doctors often have to rely on incomplete information to make diagnostic decisions and recommend treatments, and this can lead to patients receiving unnecessary surgeries or experiencing a reduced quality of life.
Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have moved closer to developing an alternative method of detecting and possibly treating breast cancer.
The researchers, led by Magda El-Shenawee, professor of electrical engineering, work with pulsed, terahertz imaging, a type of electromagnetic radiation technology previously used to find land mines. They adapted the technology to detect tumors and provide highly specific images of them.
Knowing the exact number of molecules located at specific junctures in cells can be a critical measure of health as well as disease. For example, abnormally high numbers of growth factor receptors on cells can be an indication of cancerous and precancerous states; specific proteins located at the junction where neurons connect in the brain may affect brain function as they accumulate or disperse.