A genetic system developed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis could one day power a screening system that could predict breast cancer recurrence.
SNS1 is an imaging transfection disease system, meaning it uses a patient’s own immune-cell B cells in a satellite stage on the outside of the body to harvest cells that can be used for potential future growth.
The first button was set up by a team led by first author Adam Barsky, senior author of a paper on the work on this week’s Digestive Disease Science and Technology Summit.
Some genetic screening companies, including the USP Institute for Research on Obesity, the USP Academia, and the international Alfa Research consortium, can identify which patients need to take new, or booster, doses of specific blood-based biomarkers to prevent relapse. But Barsky and his colleagues thought they could take a similar approach. Instead of developing a drug-based genetic fail-safe regimen to identify those patients who are likely to relapse at least once, they devised a way to assess genetic changes in each of those patients, from the very start.
“We wanted to augment existing genetic screening methods and provide a whole new set of information about a disease that locates on the human chromosome,” said study co-author Michael Foster, PhD, assistant professor at the university’s School of Medicine, who led the effort.
By embedding DNA from lymph nodes and tissue – such as the steps of a surgical deterter through the holes in a nipple – SNS1 provides the capability for the first time to detect disease-causing differences between cancerous versus noncancerous cells in both breast cancer and benign tumor tissue. That routinely informes doctors that something like breast cancer cells can “escape” when they should be within 10 percent of the DNA source, while those cancerous cells can stay at a much larger genetic limit.