Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Americans Find Big Answers in Tiny Tissues

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Americans Find Big Answers in Tiny Tissues

Article excerpt

SIMILAR research is also being carried out in the United States.

Scientists there revealed yesterday that they believe cancers may in future be diagnosed from a tiny drop of blood or speck of tissue smaller than a full stop.

New technology that allows cancer proteins to be analysed in minute samples could spell the end of surgical biopsies, research suggests.

The same system could also enable cancer treatment to be monitored quickly and easily.

Although the study focused on blood cancers, scientists hope to apply the technique to solid tumours too.

The US researchers developed a machine to separate out cancer-associated proteins by means of their electric charge. This varies according to modifications on the protein's surface.

Antibodies, immune system agents that bind to specific molecules, were then used to identify the relative amounts and positions of different proteins.

The technique was able to detect varying levels of activity of common cancer genes in human lymphoma samples, and even distinguish between different lymphoma types. …

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