[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | CSUN Biology Team Breaks New Ground in Cancer Research | 09-14-2016
Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
76°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
July 22
2000 - Historic Larinan house in Pico Canyon burns down [story]


| Wednesday, Sep 14, 2016
From left: CSUN biology graduate student Yvess Adamian, biology professor Jonathan Kelber, and biology graduate student Malachaia Hoover work recently published an article announcing a novel and groundbreaking method to extracting RNA from tissue samples. Photo by David J. Hawkins.
From left: CSUN biology graduate student Yvess Adamian, biology professor Jonathan Kelber, and biology graduate student Malachaia Hoover work recently published an article announcing a novel and groundbreaking method to extracting RNA from tissue samples. Photo by David J. Hawkins.

Hundreds of millions of cancer samples, each the size of a saltine cracker, have been archived across the globe. These samples contain genetic information that can radically improve cancer patient survival – even curing difficult-to-treat tumor types. Extracting this information out of these cancer samples has been a major bottleneck to progress in oncology research — until now.

California State University, Northridge cancer researchers have developed a novel method for extracting these genetic data from archived pancreatic cancer tissue — this cancer type is known for its very low survival rate at only 7 percent — with results that could enable major future breakthroughs for this disease. Their research was published in the September edition of the journal Oncotarget, and will directly address recommendations made to the National Institutes of Health in response to United States Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative, announced last February, which is slated to provide $1 billion toward cancer research efforts.

Biology professor Jonathan Kelber and two graduate students, Malachaia Hoover and Yvess Adamian, integrated a miniature blender-like tool the size of an eraser head into a standard method for purifying Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) from these archived samples. They hypothesized that the microHomogenizerTM (mH), developed by Claremont Biosolutions whose associates collaborated on the article, would effectively liberate the trapped molecular information from these samples – something that is very difficult to do because they are preserved in a formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) cube.

Kelber explained that the samples are readily available for research, but the material within them is usually compromised because of the way they are preserved.

“We have a lot of tools to study this molecular information [in these FFPE samples],” Kelber said. “The problem is getting information out of them – it is a tedious task fraught with all kinds of challenges. The molecules get cross linked and you can’t break them apart. The integrity of the material is compromised. [The mH] liberates more [RNA] from these samples, and we think that by liberating more than you would with standard methods, you get better quality material that is then available for a variety of downstream applications — that’s a big breakthrough.”

The FFPE samples used in this study were generated from human pancreatic tumors surgically implanted and grown in the pancreata of mice — a cancer research method known as orthotopic surgery and developed by article collaborator Dr. Robert Hoffman, a professor of surgery at the University of California, San Diego. The procedure takes place at AntiCancer, Inc. which was founded by Hoffman.

Kelber’s team validated their breakthrough method by evaluating how different biomarker genes are expressed in cancer cells when they are grown in different environments. Hoffman explained that this study reaffirms his laboratory’s previous work demonstrating the importance studying human cancer cells in the orthotopic environment.

“Jonathan looks at genes and how they are expressed at the subcutaneous versus the orthotopic levels,” he said. “[The results are] very different. Very, very different. Jonathan developed a new and better technique — it’s revolutionary! There’s millions — tens of millions of these FFPE samples sitting in drawers all over the world. Just one application of his technique is looking at tumors orthotopically and finding a remarkable difference.”

Adamian explained the low survival rate for pancreatic cancer patients is due in part to the difficulty of identifying biomarkers to make early diagnoses.

“Pancreatic cancer is currently at a 7 percent survival rate. We thought we really needed a breakthrough for this cancer,” she said. “We think this [method] could really help to identify new biomarkers.”

Hoover, who began working on developing these novel mH-based methods as an undergraduate at CSUN, said the new technique will pave the way for better genome and RNA sequencing of patient tissue — a potentially life-changing feat for pancreatic cancer research.

“We see that when we use the microHomogenizerTM method, the gene profile is more similar to fresh tissue samples,” she said. “I just can’t wait for [this project] to continue so we can identify new biomarkers and how gene signatures are changing between patients!”

Claremont BioSolutions’ President and co-founder Dr. Robert Doebler, said the tool’s success is something to be lauded.

“We are honored to be involved in the success achieved by the Kelber Lab in demonstrating a unique method for RNA extraction from challenging FFPE tissue samples utilizing our microHomogenizer™ device,” he said. “We feel that this protocol has the potential to fill a significant need in cancer-related research and clinical oncology.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


HIGHER EDUCATION LINKS
Related Content
LOCAL COLLEGE HEADLINES
Friday, Jul 21, 2017
Registration has begun for the fall 2017 semester at College of the Canyons, which offers more than 1,900 class sections in a wide range of academic subjects and career education disciplines.
Thursday, Jul 20, 2017
Every summer, novice and veteran interpreters and interpreting students gather for one week to learn about professional development, and to participate in workshops that build their skills.
Thursday, Jul 20, 2017
From Aug. 5-9, this year's graduates from CalArts' Programs in Art, Art and Technology and Photography and Media present work in Clothing Optional at Night Gallery in Los Angeles, with an opening reception on Aug. 5.
Thursday, Jul 20, 2017
California State University, Northridge and Southwestern Law School have joined forces to bring a clinic to the CSUN campus in fall 2017.
Wednesday, Jul 12, 2017
Sponsorship relations and marketing professional James Kneblik Jr. has been named the College of the Canyons Foundation's director of development.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Multiple award-winning songwriter, singer and actor Kris Kristofferson is scheduled to appear at the new Canyon Club Santa Clarita at Westfield Valencia Town Center Mall on Thursday night, January 4, 2018.
January 8: Kris Kristofferson at Canyon Santa Clarita
2000 - Historic Larinan house in Pico Canyon burns down [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, two children are still in critical condition after yesterday's rollover crash. Plus, deputies arrested an underage DUI suspect whose vehicle smashed into a traffic signal after a collision in Canyon Country. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, July 21, 2017
A second child has died and two other children are in critical condition after a rollover crash on the 14 freeway near Acton Thursday morning killed an infant, CHP officials said.
Second Child Dies, 2 Still Critical after Acton Crash
World-renowned artist John Moffitt will headline the ARTree's Speaker Series with a talk at The MAIN on Main Street in Old Town Newhall on Thursday, July 27 starting at 7 p.m.
July 27: John Moffitt Headlines ARTree Speaker Series
Registration is now open for the ARTree Community Arts Center's fall children's art sampler class, which begins September 22 at the center in Newhall.
July 25: Fall ARTree Children’s Art Class Registration Opens
The 21st annual "Heart of the West" fundraiser for the non-profit Carousel Ranch horse therapy program for children will take place at the ranch on Saturday, August 26 starting at 6 p.m.
August 26: ‘Heart of the West’ to Benefit Carousel Ranch
The California State Transportation Agency and the Department of Transportation today announced the fast tracking of “fix it first” construction work and increased road repairs across the state.
State Transportation Leaders Expedite Millions in SB 1 Road Repairs
Registration has begun for the fall 2017 semester at College of the Canyons, which offers more than 1,900 class sections in a wide range of academic subjects and career education disciplines.
COC Fall 2017 Registration Under Way
Former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has been denied bond pending the appeal of his conviction for obstructing a federal investigation into county jails.
Ex-L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca Denied Bond Ahead of Conviction Appeal
The number of reported Valley Fever infections in Los Angeles County increased by 37 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, according to a news release from the county Department of Public Health.
Valley Fever Cases Up 37 Percent in L.A. County
A multi-vehicle collision in Canyon Country led deputies to arrest an underage DUI suspect who also crashed into a traffic signal around 5:30 a.m. Friday.
20-Year-Old Arrested on Suspicion of DUI After Canyon Country Crash
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Mary Alice Monroe will guest at an author event at Barnes & Noble in Valencia on Monday, July 31, at 7 p.m.
July 31: Best-Selling Author Mary Alice Monroe at Barnes & Noble
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-San Fernando Valley) blasted SoCalGas for weak safety standards as the company resumes injections of natural gas into the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility adjacent to the Santa Clarita Valley.
Sherman Rips SoCalGas for Weak Safety Standards at Aliso Canyon
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who have the best record in major league baseball, had their 11-game winning streak snapped by the Atlanta Braves 6-3 at Dodger Stadium Thursday night in the first game of a 10-game homestand.
Red-Hot Dodgers Drop First Contest in 10-Game Homestand
World-traveled rock-R&B-funk band Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps returns to headline the free Valencia Jazz & Blues concert on the street outside the Hyatt Regency Valencia tonight starting at 7 p.m.
July 21: Teresa James & Rhythm Tramps at Valencia Jazz & Blues
California voters would decide the future of legal sports betting in the Golden State under a constitutional amendment introduced Thursday by a state lawmaker.
California Lawmaker Backs Referendum on Legalizing Sports Betting
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station is urging SCV residents to be on the lookout for a suspect wanted in connection with a felony hit and run collision in Lancaster on Tuesday.
Wanted: Suspect in Felony Hit & Run
Mylz Jones and Roberto Ramos each went deep for the JetHawks, but the Lake Elsinore Storm hit three homers of their own and took the series opener 8-4 on Thursday night at The Hangar.
Jones, Ramos Homer in 8-4 Loss to Storm Thursday
California state officials have cleared the way for resumption at reduced capacity in the next few weeks of natural gas pumping into the underground Aliso Canyon facility
Aliso Canyon Gas Field to Reopen, But Fight Still On
Three children and one adult from Los Angeles were airlifted from the 14 freeway in Acton Thursday morning after a fatal solo-vehicle rollover crash.
Infant Killed, Four Injured in Early-Morning Acton Crash
Air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley on Friday, according to an AQMD alert.
Updated: SCV Air Quality Unhealthy Friday
2009 - Castaic resident Gidget, the Taco Bell commercial Chihuahua, dies at 15 after major stroke [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a Los Angeles woman is one of four hurt in a fatal crash in Acton Thursday morning. Plus, several streets in the city will be impacted for road rehab through next Friday. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday, July 20, 2017
The City of Santa Clarita is in need of volunteers for a pair of events taking place in August at the Aquatic Center, located at 20850 Centre Pointe Parkway. Space is still available for those wishing to assist at the Swim League Finals on August 5 and the LA84 Swim & Synchro Festival on August 12, 2017.
Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Aquatic Center Events
As Los Angeles County prepares for the procurement and manufacturing stage of its nationally-recognized Voting Systems Assessment Project (VSAP), Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan is focusing resources on election security.
County Prepares for Updated Voting System
Every summer, novice and veteran interpreters and interpreting students gather for one week to learn about professional development, and to participate in workshops that build their skills.
CSUN Student to Host Workshop for Interpreters
Residents in Santa Clarita can soon enroll in a number of specialized classes, recreational sports, youth programming and more for the fall season.
July 25: Start of Fall Seasons Online Registration
Castaic residents heard from county planners Wednesday at the Castaic Area Town Council meeting, with a focus on solutions for concerns about the Hillcrest Parkway landscape.
Castaic Residents Voice Concerns Over Hillcrest Parkway Maintenance
After being featured in the “KHTS Adopt a Pet” series last month, a then 10-week-old kitten named Faith has found her forever home. But before she can truly get her “happily ever after,” Faith needs surgery to correct a medical problem that is already causing damage to her eyes.
GoFundMe Page Started for Former ‘KHTS Adopt a Pet’ Kitten
From Aug. 5-9, this year's graduates from CalArts' Programs in Art, Art and Technology and Photography and Media present work in Clothing Optional at Night Gallery in Los Angeles, with an opening reception on Aug. 5.
Exhibit to Feature Works by Recent CalARTS’ Graduates
Join us at this month's breakfast for networking and an update by our State Senator Scott Wilk on the progress of water district consolidation and the impact his bill, SB 634, will have on the Santa Clarita Valley.
Aug. 9: Update on Water District Consolidation at Chamber Breakfast
California State University, Northridge and Southwestern Law School have joined forces to bring a clinic to the CSUN campus in fall 2017.
Legal Clinic For Undocumented Students Comes to CSUN This Fall
Sheriff’s Homicide detectives are investigating a dead body reported at Sierra Highway and Remsen street.
Possible Suicide in Newhall; Investigation Ongoing
Legislation was introduced Wednesday by Representative Steve Knight (CA-25) the Securely Expediting Clearances through Reporting Transparency (SECRET) Act, H.R. 3210, passed the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Knight Bill on Security Clearances Passes House Committee