A news segment featuring Wistar Professor Louise C. Showe, Ph.D., aired on CBS3 on December 21, 2011 in the five o'clock broadcast. The segment discussed her work toward developing a blood test for lung cancer and you can view it in its entirety here.
The story included a patient from Delaware who was treated for lung cancer at Christiana Care Health System’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, with whom Wistar has recently entered into an historic partnership to collaborate on translational cancer research.
A recent study from The Wistar Institute confirms the effectiveness of detecting lung cancer by taking a snapshot of gene activity in blood-borne immune cells. According to the researchers, their efforts could lead to a simple blood test that could detect non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) at an early stage—when surgery is most effective—and also determine if any signs of the cancer remain following surgery.
“It has long been known that cancers interact with the immune system. Genomics technology has gotten to the point where we can see the effect cancer has on individual cells in that immune system,” said Dr. Showe. “With a simple blood draw, we can detect lung cancer, show the effectiveness of cancer surgery, by sampling the same patient’s blood for analysis after surgery and hopefully even determine if the cancer may return. We also show in this study that the expression patterns in the blood of small regulatory RNA molecules called microRNAs are also affected by the presence of the tumor and are also likely to have diagnostic potential.”
The Showe laboratory continues collecting patient samples through its collaborators at Penn and NYU and through Wistar's recent partnership with the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care in Delaware.