02.01.2015

Accurate cancer horoscope today

Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) are combining big data sets from previous cancer diagnoses and new algorithms to more accurately diagnose cancer. Yuan Luo, a PhD student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), and EECS Professor Peter Szolovits have developed a computer model that can help doctors more easily and more accurately distinguish between forms of lymphoma. Just as cancer itself is not one disease, lymphoma—a cancer of the lymphatic system—has about 50 distinct subtypes.
Luo’s computational model analyzes large data sets from thousands of cancer patients and recommends a specific diagnosis of the disease.
While analyzing data is a critical step, Luo’s model goes further, providing interpretation of the data. Professor Szolovits hopes that this new model can not only make lymphoma diagnosis more accurate, resulting in better patient care and outcomes, but also that the information can be incorporated into future World Health Organization guidelines, which to date have been based on significantly smaller samples of the subtypes. In a large multi-center clinical trial, a new PSA test to screen for prostate cancer more accurately identified men with prostate cancer -- particularly the aggressive form of the disease -- and substantially reduced false positives compared to the two currently available commercial PSA tests, according to newly published research from Northwestern University. The only Food and Drug Administration-approved screening tests for prostate cancer currently available result in a high number of false positives and lead to unnecessary biopsies and possible over-detection and over-treatment of indolent cancer, which never would have caused suffering or death. PSA stands for prostate-specific antigen, a substance whose elevated levels can indicate prostate cancer but can also be caused by prostate inflammation or enlargement or other conditions.
Catalona, known as the father of the PSA screening, was the first to show in 1991 that a simple blood test measuring PSA levels could be used to detect prostate cancer. The study, which will be published in the May issue of the Journal of Urology, followed 900 patients from 10 sites, including Northwestern. Catalona conducted the study in collaboration with Beckman Coulter, Inc., a biomedical test developer and manufacturer, for which he serves as a paid consultant. Figure 3 from a new article in the Journal of Biomedical Optics compares stained bright-field microscopy (top row) and SLIM (bottom row) images in their respective abilities to show malignant and benign. A new optical method for more quickly and accurately determining whether breast tissue lesions are cancerous is described by University of Illinois researchers in the Journal of Biomedical Optics, published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. In "Breast cancer diagnosis using spatial light interference microscopy," published 20 August, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Chicago researchers Hassaan Majeed, Mikhail Kandel, Kevin Han, Zelun Luo, Virgilia Macias, Krishnarao Tangella, Andre Balla, and Gabriel Popescu report on a quantitative method for diagnosing breast cancer using spatial light interference microscopy (SLIM). Because this method is based on quantitative data rather than a subjective assessment, the researchers expect that these preliminary results show the potential of their technique to become the basis for an automated image analysis system that would provide a fast and accurate diagnostic method.
When an abnormality in the breast is discovered, standard practice is for the physician to take a tissue biopsy, which is then stained to provide enough contrast for a pathologist to study key features of the tissue under a microscope.
Manual inspections, however, are subject to investigator bias, and the process is time-consuming. Using the breast tissue biopsies of 400 different patients, researchers selected two parallel, adjacent sections from each biopsy.


The unstained samples were analyzed using a SLIM module attached to a commercial phase contrast microscope to generate interferograms ? Four interferograms were used to produce one quantitative image showing areas with different refractive properties in different colors. Theoretical chemists at Princeton University have pioneered a strategy for modeling quantum friction, or how a particle's environment drags on it, a vexing problem in quantum mechanics since the birth of the field. Physicists are putting themselves out of a job, using artificial intelligence to run a complex experiment.
Flick a switch on a dark winter day and your office is flooded with bright light, one of many everyday miracles to which we are all usually oblivious.
Scientists have devised a way to build a "quantum metamaterial"a€”an engineered material with exotic properties not found in naturea€”using ultracold atoms trapped in an artificial crystal composed of light. James Dunning, 59, a married father of two, suffered repeated episodes of crippling abdominal pains over a period of 20 years, sometimes resulting in him spending up to five days in hospital and once into the intensive care unit.
The retired army officer from Halifax, who lived and worked in West Africa for a number of years had a CT scan in Africa towards the end of last year and was told he might have pancreatic cancer.
The speed and accuracy of the diagnosis after the suggestion of cancer, came as something of a relief for James, who now manages construction projects in Africa. Chronic Pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas (a small organ behind the stomach) becomes permanently damaged as a result of inflammation.
The condition is often related to alcohol or gallstones but in James’ case, he does not smoke or drink and is otherwise fit and healthy. Although there is no cure or specific treatment for the condition, James is able to control the pain with medication and Dr Huggett has prescribed a supplement containing digestive enzymes used to improve food digestion. Despite this condition, James has had a successful career and has worked and travelled extensively abroad throughout his military career. James said of his experience at Spire Leeds Hospital: “I know I will probably have to deal with the condition for the rest of my life, however, I feel very lucky.
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NEWSLETTERSign up for our monthly newsletter for all the latest news, views, competitions and reader offers. We can offer you a totally integrated marketing opportunity using our newspaper, e–newsletter and website. Earlier, Moore had identified nine potential biomarkers and the ability of multiple marker combinations to predict the risk for ovarian cancer in women.


The study had also shown that the combination of HE4 and CA 125 provided the highest-level sensitivity and specificity out of all marker combinations for predicting the presence of ovarian cancer.
They further evaluated the levels of the biomarkers within the women’s blood and then compared the results with biopsies of their tumours.
The combination of biomarkers performed well in both pre- and post-menopausal women, accurately stratifying 95 percent of patients with epithelial cancer as high risk and 75 percent of benign cases as low risk.
Between 5–15% of lymphatic cancer cases are misdiagnosed or misclassified, which can result in patients receiving the wrong treatment plan. As Luo explained in a recent article in Software Development Times, the task of diagnosing these cancers is time-consuming and labor intensive. He is a professor of urology at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine and a urologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The test becomes even more accurate when its results are analyzed with a mathematical formula that provides an overall Prostate Health Index. The boundary between tumors and the cells around them were clearly delineated, making it possible to assess whether the tumors were malignant or benign.
Dr Matthew Huggett, a consultant gastroenterologist and HPB physician, was able to see him the same day. Since it first started around 1994 he had experienced as many as 30 episodes over the years.
However CA 125 is the only blood test that can be used to help predict a woman’s risk for ovarian cancer. Catalona's research also is supported by the National Cancer Institute and the Urological Research Foundation. Due to variations such as staining intensity and the illumination used, the process does not lend itself to automation.
The phase is retrieved by shifting the phase of the scattered light with respect to that of the unscattered light by using a spatial light modulator (SLM) at the Fourier plane of lens L1. Dr Huggett arranged a CT scan, MRI and EUS (Endoscopic Ultrasound Scan) and within days was able to confidently diagnose chronic pancreatitis, which was, compared to the alternative he feared, great news for James; and in time for Christmas.
Four interferograms, correponding to four different SLM phase shifts, are obtained and used to compute the phase.



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