New tool to investigate cancer molecules

27 August 2014

A team at the University of Manchester's Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute has discovered a better tool that can be used to identify and measure vital molecules, which control cell behaviour. This finding could hold potential for the development of new methods to diagnose, predict and monitor cancer.

Along with the Institute of Cancer Research, London, the team at Manchester University analysed protein kinases, which are molecules that control various aspects of cellular function.

The study, published in Nature Methods, investigated more than 200 protein kinases and their molecular makeup using a technique known as mass spectrometry. This enabled them to develop a method that is able to both identify and measure the amount of various kinases in a biological sample, which could be used in tumours.

Dr Claus Jorgensen, who led the study, said the new method correctly measures the amount of protein kinases in a sample, which means cancer cell behaviour can be closely monitored and tumours can be analysed after different therapies.

This finding will help doctors spot small changes in tumour kinase levels to judge how well the individual cancer is responding to treatment and better personalise therapies to patients. 

Posted by Philip Briggs​


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