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April 2017

UC Berkley Bioengineers Examine Cellular Proteins

Berkeley researchers isolated circulating tumor cells from the blood of breast cancer

patients, then used microscale physics to design a precision test for protein biomarkers,

which are indicators of cancer.After isolating each cell, the microfluidic device breaks

the cells open and tests the cellular contents for eight cancer protein biomarkers.The

researchers are expanding the number of proteins identifiable with this technology to

eventually allow pathologists to classify cancer cells more precisely than is possible us-

ing existing biomarkers.


24 March

CancerLocatorTool Aims to Non-Invasively Diagnose Cancer,

PinpointTissue of Origin

Researchers have developed an approach to glean whether blood samples contain tu-

mor DNA and in which tissue that tumor, if present, is located.

The approach, called CancerLocator, detects circulating cell-free DNA and uses its

genome-wide DNA methylation profile to gauge if it is derived from a tumor and, if so,

what tissue it originated from.The University of California, Los Angeles’s Jasmine Zhou

and her colleagues reported in Genome Biology that their probabilistic method was

better able to distinguish cancer and non-cancer samples than random forest and sup-

port vector machine classification approaches.


Mar 24

Bioengineers at the University of California San Diego have de-

veloped a new blood test that could de-

tect cancer — and locate where in the

body the tumor is growing.

In this study, Prof. Kun Zhang and his team discovered

a new clue in blood that could both detect tumor

cells and identify where they are.When a tumor starts

to take over a part of the body, it competes with

normal cells for nutrients and space, killing them off in

the process.As normal cells die, they release their DNA into the bloodstream — and

that DNA could identify the affected tissue.

UC San Diego News Centre

March 6