Indianapolis, IN, United States
Indianapolis, IN, United States

Time filter

Source Type

Condello S.,Indiana University | Matei D.,Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center | Matei D.,Indiana University
FASEB Journal | Year: 2013

Tissue transglutaminase (TG2) is a multifunctional enzyme involved in protein cross-linking and cell adhesion to fibronectin (FN). In cancer, TG2 induces an epithelial to mesenchymal transition, contributing to metastasis. Because cadherins bind β-catenin at cell-cell junctions, disruption of adherens junctions destabilizes cadherin-catenin complexes. The goal of the present study was to analyze whether and how TG2 interacts with and regulates β-catenin signaling in ovarian cancer (OC) cells. We observed a significant correlation between TG2 and β-catenin expression levels in OC cells and tumors. TG2 augmented Wnt/β-catenin signaling, as evidenced by enhanced β-catenin transcriptional activity, inducing transcription of target genes cyclin D1 and c-Myc. By promoting integrin-mediated cell adhesion to FN, TG2 physically associates with and recruits c-Src, which in turn phosphorylates β-catenin at Tyr654, releasing it from E-cadherin and rendering it available for transcriptional regulation. By interacting with FN and enhancing β-catenin signaling, complexed TG2 stimulates OC cell proliferation. In summary, our data demonstrate that TG2 regulates β-catenin expression and function in OC cells and define the c-Src-dependent mechanism through which this occurs. © FASEB.


News Article | December 19, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Bottom Line: Among women with breast cancer who received a type of chemotherapy called an anthracycline, those who had a certain genetic biomarker had a significantly increased risk for having anthracycline-induced congestive heart failure. Journal in Which the Study was Published: Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. Author: Bryan P. Schneider, MD, associate professor of medicine at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis. Background: Schneider explained that the decision to undergo chemotherapy for breast cancer is not always clear cut because each patient has a different risk of relapse and different tolerance to potential adverse effects of treatment. As a result, the more information a patient and his or her oncologist have about the potential risks and benefits of treatment the better prepared they are to make good treatment decisions, he noted. "Anthracyclines such as doxorubicin, which are widely used chemotherapeutic agents, cause congestive heart failure in about 1 to 2 percent of patients," continued Schneider. "Knowing which patients are at increased risk for this life-threatening effect of anthracycline chemotherapy is important to help oncologists counsel patients about their personal risks and benefits of such treatment." How the Study Was Conducted and Results: Schneider and colleagues analyzed genome-wide association data from 3,431 women with breast cancer who received doxorubicin as part of treatment received through enrollment in the phase III Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) 5103 clinical trial and for whom heart assessment data were available. Among these patients, 68 (2 percent) had cardiologist-adjudicated congestive heart failure. Because the majority of those who had cardiologist-adjudicated congestive heart failure (51) were European-American, the researchers limited the genetic association analysis to European-Americans. They identified several SNPs associated with risk of anthracycline-induced congestive heart failure. After looking at the chromosomal location of the SNPs, the researchers chose two of the top SNPs for validation in independent data sets. One of the two SNPs, rs28714259 was associated with risk of anthracycline-induced congestive heart failure among 2,415 women with breast cancer who received doxorubicin as part of treatment received through enrollment in the phase III ECOG 1199 clinical trial. It was also associated with low ventricular ejection fraction, which is a sign of heart damage, among 828 women with breast cancer who received doxorubicin as part of treatment through enrollment in the phase III BEATRICE clinical trial. Author Comment: "We found that the A allele of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs28714259 was associated with increased risk of anthracycline-induced congestive heart failure among women with breast cancer," said Schneider. "Adding information gained from testing for this SNP to currently used clinical information could help oncologists provide a more precise prediction of the risks and benefits of anthracycline chemotherapy for patients with breast cancer. We are currently further testing this finding in patients receiving anthracyclines at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center to better understand its contribution to heart failure risk in the face of other known risk factors and comorbidities." Limitations: According to Schneider, the study has two main limitations. First, not all of the clinical trials used the same method for assessing heart damage with corresponding long-term data. Second, the number of patients who had heart damage was relatively low because it is a rare adverse event. "As a result, additional studies in other patient groups and in the real-world setting of the clinic, as we are doing, are needed to confirm the association," Schneider said. Funding & Disclosures: The study was conducted by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group [ACRIN (American College of Radiology Imaging Network)] and supported by funds from the Public Health Service, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Conquer Cancer Foundation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Schneider declares no conflicts of interest. To interview Bryan P. Schneider, contact Julia Gunther at julia.gunther@aacr.org or 215-446-6896. About the American Association for Cancer Research Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world's first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 37,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and patient advocates residing in 108 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 30 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with nearly 19,500 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual investigator grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and other policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit http://www. .


INDIANAPOLIS -- More than 13 million older adults are admitted to hospitals annually in the United States. Nearly a quarter need to have all decisions made for them by a family member, and almost half need help from family to make some decisions. Clinician-researchers from the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and the Regenstrief Institute have developed a tool to measure the communication experiences of family members of hospitalized patients. "Good, timely communication with family members is essential for good decision-making, and difficulty in communication adds stress to an already stressful situation," said IU Center for Aging Research and Regenstrief Institute scientist Alexia Torke, MD, an expert on surrogate decision-making, who led the development and validation of the new tool. "Our survey tool is unique in that it measures communication in all settings of the hospital and accounts for the fact that family members often encounter multiple clinicians during the patient's hospital stay." "Patients exist in the context of their family, yet in the hospital setting, surrogate decision-makers and other family members too often are disregarded. But they should be part of the health care team and process -- part of whole patient care. Medical teams and entire health care systems need to increasingly value communication with family members as they pursue quality of care goals." Dr. Torke also holds appointments with IU School of Medicine, the IU Health Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics and the Daniel F. Evans Center for Spiritual and Religious Values in Healthcare. A new study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management has validated and confirmed the reliability of the Family Inpatient Communication Survey. The easy to administer, practical IU Center for Aging Research tool comprises 30 questions that probe the communication experiences of family members of hospitalized patients. The survey focuses on two dimensions of communication by the medical staff--conveyance of information and emotional support. Dr. Torke and colleagues were aware from their previous work that family members desire frequent updates from the medical team. So the survey tool asks family members to indicate if they believed that hospital staff members communicated with them as often as they would have liked. The survey asks if family members had to struggle to acquire information from the staff. It also queries whether they felt they had received adequate emotional support from the hospital staff. In the validation and reliability study, conducted with 350 family members of IU Health Methodist Hospital, IU Health West Hospital and Eskenazi Health inpatients, the vast majority of family members reported good communication experiences. Approximately 83 percent indicated that hospital staff members adequately communicated with family members and 93 percent indicated that they felt that the hospital listed to them. Only six percent desired more emotional support than they received. "These positive responses indicate that most family members are very satisfied with communication, but the survey does allow us to identify individuals who have had a bad experience," said Dr. Torke. "In the future, the survey can help us target interventions to improve communication in the hospital." The survey, which for this study was conducted via phone interviews by research assistants, took about five minutes for each family member to complete. In addition to Dr. Torke, authors of "Validation of the Family Inpatient Communication Survey" are Patrick Monahan, PhD, of the IU School of Medicine; Christopher M. Callahan of the IU Center for Aging Research, Regenstrief Institute and IU School of Medicine; Paul R. Helft, MD, of IU Health and the IU Health Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center; Greg A. Sachs, IU Center for Aging Research, Regenstrief Institute and IU School of Medicine; Lucia D. Wocial, PhD, RN, of IU Health; James E. Slaven, MS, of IU School of Medicine; Kianna Montz, MA, Lev Inger, BS and Emily Burke, BS, of the IU Center for Aging Research and Regenstrief Institute. The development of the study was funded by the Research in Palliative and End-of-Life Communication and Training (RESPECT) Center of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the National Institute on Aging (R01 AG044408). The survey is downloadable from the IU Center for Aging Research website, which also contains licensing information.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Medical researchers at Indiana University Bloomington have found evidence for a link between prostate cancer, which affects millions of men age 50 and older, and Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that affects children and young adults. The results of the study, reported today in the journal Cell Reports, suggest that the molecular mechanism that triggers the rare disease Ewing's sarcoma could act as a potential new direction for the treatment of more than half of patients with prostate cancer. A form of bone and soft tissue cancer that affects about one in 1 million children and young adults age 10 to 19, Ewing's sarcoma is terminal in 44 percent of teens age 15 to 19 and 30 percent of children. Over 100,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in the U.S, with more than 99 percent of cases occurring after age 50. "This research shows that the molecular mechanism involved in the development of most prostate cancers is very similar to the molecular mechanism known to cause Ewing's sarcoma," said Peter Hollenhorst, an associate professor in the medical sciences program at IU Bloomington, a part of the IU School of Medicine. "It also suggests that this mechanism might be used to explore a common treatment for both diseases, one of which is not often pursued by drug companies due to its rarity." Hollenhorst is also a member of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis. Other authors on the paper include Vivekananda Kedage, a graduate student in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, and Travis J. Jerde, an associate professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis. Kedage is the first author on the study. There are 28 genes in the human body known as ETS genes, four of which are known to produce proteins that cause prostate cancer. These four cancer-causing genes, or "oncogenes," are called ETV1, ETV4, ETV5 and ERG, the last of which has been implicated in over 50 percent of all prostate cancers. The other three combined play a role in about 7 percent of prostate cancers. Ewing's sarcoma results from errors in the chromosome repair process that causes the merger of two separate gene segments into a mutant hybrid gene, also known as a chimeric or fusion gene. One of these genes is called EWS, the other is a gene that produces ETS proteins. Hollenhorst's study is the first to show that the proteins produced by the EWS gene interact with all four ETS proteins known to trigger prostate cancer. Moreover, the EWS protein only interacts with proteins from these four harmful ETS genes, not the other 24 ETS genes not found to play a role in prostate cancer. "A molecular mechanism that sets these four genes apart from the ones that don't trigger cancer has never been identified until now," Hollenhorst said. "This is significant because it suggests that any compound that disrupts EWS-ETS interaction would specifically inhibit the function of the four oncogenes and not the others, which play important roles in the healthy function of the body." The team also found the ETS genes implicated in prostate cancer interact with the un-mutated form of the EWS gene. In Ewing's sarcoma, the small blue tumors that characterize the disease do not occur unless mutation occurs. IU scientists used a combination of laboratory experiments and mouse models to observe the interaction of EWS and ETS proteins in prostate cells. The majority of the experiments involved observing the behavior of ETS oncogenes in prostate cancer cell cultures to reveal interaction with EWS proteins. In experiments at the IU School of Medicine, they also introduced the ERG gene into normal human prostate cells in mice, which triggered the formation of tumors. The scientists then introduced an artificial mutation in the ERG gene to disrupt interaction with the proteins produced by the EWS gene. In these mice, the tumors failed to form. "Together, the results indicated that the interaction between ERG and EWS is important for tumor formation," Hollenhorst said. "We chose to focus our greatest efforts on the ERG protein since it is responsible for over 50 percent of all prostate cancers, and therefore the potential to benefit the greatest number of people." Based upon the strength of the work reported in the study, Hollenhorst and colleagues at IU Bloomington and the IU School of Medicine have received a grant from the IU Simon Cancer Center to search for molecules that could potentially disrupt ETS-EWS interaction. Their work will be conducted in collaboration with a facility at Purdue University that specializes in screening for these molecules. Additional authors on the paper are Nagarathinam Selvaraj, postdoctoral researcher, and Justin A. Budka, graduate student, in the medical sciences program at IU Bloomington; and Joshua P. Plotnik and Taylor R. Nicholas, graduate students in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Biology. This research was supported in part by the American Cancer Society.


News Article | November 20, 2015
Site: www.nanotech-now.com

Abstract: A simple, ultrasensitive microRNA sensor developed and tested by researchers from the schools of science and medicine at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center holds promise for the design of new diagnostic strategies and, potentially, for the prognosis and treatment of pancreatic and other cancers. In a study published in the Nov. issue of ACS Nano, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society focusing on nanoscience and nanotechnology research, the IUPUI researchers describe their design of the novel, low-cost, nanotechnology-enabled reusable sensor. They also report on the promising results of tests of the sensor's ability to identify pancreatic cancer or indicate the existence of a benign condition by quantifying changes in levels of microRNA signatures linked to pancreatic cancer. MicroRNAs are small molecules of RNA that regulate how larger RNA molecules lead to protein expression. As such, microRNAs are very important in biology and disease states. "We used the fundamental concepts of nanotechnology to design the sensor to detect and quantify biomolecules at very low concentrations," said Rajesh Sardar, Ph.D., who developed the sensor. "We have designed an ultrasensitive technique so that we can see minute changes in microRNA concentrations in a patient's blood and confirm the presence of pancreatic cancer." Sardar is an assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology in the School of Science at IUPUI and leads an interdisciplinary research program focusing on the intersection of analytical chemistry and the nanoscience of metallic nanoparticles. "If we can establish that there is cancer in the pancreas because the sensor detects high levels of microRNA-10b or one of the other microRNAs associated with that specific cancer, we may be able to treat it sooner," said Murray Korc, M.D., the Myles Brand Professor of Cancer Research at the IU School of Medicine and a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center. Korc, worked with Sardar to improve the sensor's capabilities and led the testing of the sensor and its clinical uses as well as advancing the understanding of pancreatic cancer biology. "That's especially significant for pancreatic cancer, because for many patients it is symptom-free for years or even a decade or more, by which time it has spread to other organs, when surgical removal is no longer possible and therapeutic options are limited," said Korc. "For example, diagnosis of pancreatic cancer at an early stage of the disease followed by surgical removal is associated with a 40 percent five-year survival. Diagnosis of metastatic pancreatic cancer, by contrast, is associated with life expectancy that is often only a year or less. "The beauty of the sensor designed by Dr. Sardar is its ability to accurately detect mild increases in microRNA levels, which could allow for early cancer diagnosis," Korc added. Over the past decade, studies have shown that microRNAs play important roles in cancer and other diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. The new IUPUI nanotechnology-based sensor can detect changes in any of these microRNAs. The sensor is a small glass chip that contains triangular-shaped gold nanoparticles called 'nanoprisms.' After dipping it in a sample of blood or another body fluid, the scientist measures the change in the nanoprism's optical property to determine the levels of specific microRNAs. "Using gold nanoprisms may sound expensive, but it isn't because these particles are so very tiny," Sardar said. "It's a rather cheap technique because it uses nanotechnology and needs very little gold. $250 worth of gold makes 4,000 sensors. Four thousand sensors allow you to do at least 4,000 tests. The low cost makes this technique ideal for use anywhere, including in low-resource environments in this country and around the world." ### Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation has filed a patent application on Sardar's and Korc's groundbreaking nanotechnology-enabled sensor. The researchers' ultimate goal is to design ultrasensitive and extremely selective low-cost point-of-care diagnostics enabling individual therapeutic approaches to diseases. Currently, polymerase chain reaction technology is used to determine microRNA signatures, which requires extraction of the microRNA from blood or other biological fluid and reverse transcription or amplification of the microRNA. PCR provides relative values. By contrast, the process developed at IUPUI is simpler, quantitative, more sensitive and highly specific even when two different microRNAs vary in a single position. The study demonstrated that the IUPUI nanotechnology-enabled sensor is as good as if not better than the most advanced PCR in detection and quantification of microRNA. In addition to Sardar and Korc, authors of 'Label-Free Nanoplasmonic-Based Short Noncoding RNA Sensing at Attomolar Concentrations Allows for Quantitative and Highly Specific Assay of MicroRNA-10b in Biological Fluids and Circulating Exosomes' are School of Science at IUPUI graduate students Gayatri K. Joshi, Thakshila Liyanage, and Katie Lawrence; School of Medicine research analyst Samantha Deitz-McElyea (an alumna of the School of Science); and IU undergraduate Sonali Mali. Sardar and Korc are co-principal investigators on the IUPUI Funding Opportunities for Research Commercialization and Economic Success and IU Collaborative Research Grant funding that supported the study, which was also supported by a U.S. Public Health Service grant (CA-75059) awarded to Korc by the National Cancer Institute. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.


News Article | November 18, 2015
Site: www.cemag.us

A simple, ultrasensitive microRNA sensor developed and tested by researchers from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the IU School of Medicine, and the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center holds promise for the design of new diagnostic strategies and, potentially, for the prognosis and treatment of pancreatic and other cancers. In a study published in the November issue of ACS Nano, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society focusing on nanoscience and nanotechnology research, the IUPUI researchers describe their design of the novel, low-cost, nanotechnology-enabled reusable sensor. They also report on the promising results from tests of the sensor's ability to identify pancreatic cancer or indicate the existence of a benign condition by quantifying changes in levels of microRNA signatures linked to pancreatic cancer. MicroRNAs are small molecules of RNA that regulate how larger RNA molecules lead to protein expression. As such, microRNAs are very important in biology and disease states. "We used the fundamental concepts of nanotechnology to design the sensor to detect and quantify biomolecules at very low concentrations," says Rajesh Sardar, who developed the sensor. "We have designed an ultrasensitive technique so that we can see minute changes in microRNA concentrations in a patient's blood and confirm the presence of pancreatic cancer." Sardar is an assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology in the School of Science at IUPUI and leads an interdisciplinary research program focusing on the intersection of analytical chemistry and the nanoscience of metallic nanoparticles. "If we can establish that there is cancer in the pancreas because the sensor detects high levels of microRNA-10b or one of the other microRNAs associated with that specific cancer, we may be able to treat it sooner," says Dr. Murray Korc, the Myles Brand Professor of Cancer Research at the IU School of Medicine and a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center. Korc worked with Sardar to improve the sensor's capabilities and led the testing of the sensor and its clinical uses as well as advancing the understanding of pancreatic cancer biology. "That's especially significant for pancreatic cancer, because for many patients it is symptom-free for years or even a decade or more, by which time it has spread to other organs, when surgical removal is no longer possible and therapeutic options are limited," says Korc. "For example, diagnosis of pancreatic cancer at an early stage of the disease followed by surgical removal is associated with a 40 percent five-year survival. Diagnosis of metastatic pancreatic cancer, by contrast, is associated with life expectancy that is often only a year or less. "The beauty of the sensor designed by Dr. Sardar is its ability to accurately detect mild increases in microRNA levels, which could allow for early cancer diagnosis," Korc adds. Over the past decade, studies have shown that microRNAs play important roles in cancer and other diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. The new IUPUI nanotechnology-based sensor can detect changes in any of these microRNAs. The sensor is a small glass chip that contains triangular-shaped gold nanoparticles called "nanoprisms." After dipping it in a sample of blood or another body fluid, the scientist measures the change in the nanoprisms' optical property to determine the levels of specific microRNAs. "Using gold nanoprisms may sound expensive, but because these particles are so very tiny, it really isn't," Sardar says. “It's actually a rather cheap technique because it uses nanotechnology and needs very little gold: $250 worth of gold makes 4,000 sensors. Having 4,000 sensors allows you to do at least 4,000 tests. The low cost makes this technique ideal for use anywhere, including in low-resource environments in this country and around the world." The Indiana University Research and Technology Corporation has filed a patent application on Sardar's and Korc's groundbreaking nanotechnology-enabled sensor. The researchers' ultimate goal is to design ultrasensitive and extremely selective low-cost point-of-care diagnostics, enabling individual therapeutic approaches to diseases. Currently, polymerase chain reaction technology is used to determine microRNA signatures, which requires extraction of the microRNA from blood or other biological fluid and reverse transcription or amplification of the microRNA. PCR provides relative values. By contrast, the process developed at IUPUI is simpler, quantitative, more sensitive and highly specific even when two different microRNAs vary in a single position. The study demonstrated that the IUPUI nanotechnology-enabled sensor is as good as, if not better than, the most advanced PCR in detection and quantification of microRNA. In addition to Sardar and Korc, authors of "Label-Free Nanoplasmonic-Based Short Noncoding RNA Sensing at Attomolar Concentrations Allows for Quantitative and Highly Specific Assay of MicroRNA-10b in Biological Fluids and Circulating Exosomes" are School of Science at IUPUI graduate students Gayatri K. Joshi, Thakshila Liyanage, and Katie Lawrence; IU School of Medicine research analyst Samantha Deitz-McElyea (an alumna of the School of Science); and IU undergraduate Sonali Mali. Sardar and Korc are co-principal investigators on the IUPUI Funding Opportunities for Research Commercialization and Economic Success and IU Collaborative Research Grant funding that supported the study, which was also supported by a U.S. Public Health Service grant awarded to Korc by the National Cancer Institute. Release Date: November 17, 2015 Source: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


News Article | November 18, 2015
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

A simple, ultrasensitive microRNA sensor developed and tested by researchers from the schools of science and medicine at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center holds promise for the design of new diagnostic strategies and, potentially, for the prognosis and treatment of pancreatic and other cancers. In a study published in the Nov. issue of ACS Nano, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society focusing on nanoscience and nanotechnology research, the IUPUI researchers describe their design of the novel, low-cost, nanotechnology-enabled reusable sensor. They also report on the promising results of tests of the sensor's ability to identify pancreatic cancer or indicate the existence of a benign condition by quantifying changes in levels of microRNA signatures linked to pancreatic cancer. MicroRNAs are small molecules of RNA that regulate how larger RNA molecules lead to protein expression. As such, microRNAs are very important in biology and disease states. "We used the fundamental concepts of nanotechnology to design the sensor to detect and quantify biomolecules at very low concentrations," said Rajesh Sardar, Ph.D., who developed the sensor. "We have designed an ultrasensitive technique so that we can see minute changes in microRNA concentrations in a patient's blood and confirm the presence of pancreatic cancer." Sardar is an assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology in the School of Science at IUPUI and leads an interdisciplinary research program focusing on the intersection of analytical chemistry and the nanoscience of metallic nanoparticles. "If we can establish that there is cancer in the pancreas because the sensor detects high levels of microRNA-10b or one of the other microRNAs associated with that specific cancer, we may be able to treat it sooner," said Murray Korc, M.D., the Myles Brand Professor of Cancer Research at the IU School of Medicine and a researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center. Korc, worked with Sardar to improve the sensor's capabilities and led the testing of the sensor and its clinical uses as well as advancing the understanding of pancreatic cancer biology. "That's especially significant for pancreatic cancer, because for many patients it is symptom-free for years or even a decade or more, by which time it has spread to other organs, when surgical removal is no longer possible and therapeutic options are limited," said Korc. "For example, diagnosis of pancreatic cancer at an early stage of the disease followed by surgical removal is associated with a 40 percent five-year survival. Diagnosis of metastatic pancreatic cancer, by contrast, is associated with life expectancy that is often only a year or less. "The beauty of the sensor designed by Dr. Sardar is its ability to accurately detect mild increases in microRNA levels, which could allow for early cancer diagnosis," Korc added. Over the past decade, studies have shown that microRNAs play important roles in cancer and other diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders. The new IUPUI nanotechnology-based sensor can detect changes in any of these microRNAs. The sensor is a small glass chip that contains triangular-shaped gold nanoparticles called 'nanoprisms.' After dipping it in a sample of blood or another body fluid, the scientist measures the change in the nanoprism's optical property to determine the levels of specific microRNAs. "Using gold nanoprisms may sound expensive, but it isn't because these particles are so very tiny," Sardar said. "It's a rather cheap technique because it uses nanotechnology and needs very little gold. $250 worth of gold makes 4,000 sensors. Four thousand sensors allow you to do at least 4,000 tests. The low cost makes this technique ideal for use anywhere, including in low-resource environments in this country and around the world."


Ehrlich Y.,Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center | Brames M.J.,Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center | Beck S.D.W.,Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center | Foster R.S.,Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center | Einhorn L.H.,Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center
Journal of Clinical Oncology | Year: 2010

Purpose: Controversy arises regarding the optimal management of patients with nonseminomatous germ cell tumor (NSGCT) who achieve a serologic and radiographic complete remission (CR) to systemic chemotherapy. Some authors recommend postchemotherapy retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (PC-RPLND), whereas others omit surgery and observe these patients. In an attempt to address this question, we report the long-term follow-up of patients treated at Indiana University who were observed without PC-RPLND. Patients and Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of patients with NSGCT who achieved a CR to first-line chemotherapy and were monitored without further therapy. CR was defined as normalization of serum tumor markers and resolution of radiographic disease (residual mass < 1 cm). Results: One hundred forty-one patients were identified. Five patients (4%) had less than 2 years of follow-up. After a median follow-up of 15.5 years, 12 patients (9%) experienced relapse. Of these 12 patients, eight patients currently have no evidence of disease (NED), and four patients died of disease. The estimated 15-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) and cancer-specific survival rates were 90% and 97%, respectively. The estimated 15-year RFS for good-risk patients (n = 109) versus intermediate- or poor-risk patients (n = 32) was 95% and 73% (P = .001), respectively. Six patients (4%) experienced recurrence in the retroperitoneum, of whom two patients died of disease. Five patients had late relapse (range, 3 to 13 years), including two patients in the retroperitoneum. All five patients currently have NED. Conclusion: Patients obtaining a CR after first-line chemotherapy can be safely observed without PC-RPLND. Relapses are rare and potentially curable with further treatment. © 2009 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.


Ehrlich Y.,Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center | Beck S.D.W.,Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center | Foster R.S.,Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center | Bihrle R.,Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center | Einhorn L.H.,Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center
Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations | Year: 2013

Testicular cancer has become a model for a curable neoplasm, where biochemical markers play a critical role. Serum tumor markers are integral in patient management and contributes to the diagnosis, staging, and risk assessment, as well as evaluation of response to therapy and detection of relapse. We review their biochemistry, biology, and clinical use in the setting of localized and metastatic disease. The integration of tumor markers in prognostic models as well as the significance of marker kinetics during chemotherapy is discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


A simple, ultrasensitive microRNA sensor developed and tested by researchers from the schools of science and medicine at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center holds promise for the design of new diagnostic strategies and, potentially, for the prognosis and treatment of pancreatic and other cancers.

Loading Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center collaborators
Loading Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center collaborators