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Gene Mapping for Early Cancer Detection

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Laboratory: National Cancer Institute (NCI) Technology:Method for detecting cancer based on spatial genome organization in the cell nucleus Opportunity: Available for licensing. NCI's Cell Biology of Genomes Group is also seeking statements of capability or interest from parties interested in collaborative research to further develop, evaluate, or commercialize diagnostic methods for detecting cancer using spatial genome organization. Details:The successful treatment of cancer is correlated with early detection of the cancerous cells. Conventional cancer diagnosis is largely based on qualitative morphological criteria; however, more accurate quantitative tests could greatly increase early detection of malignant cells. It has been observed that the spatial arrangement of DNA in the nucleus is altered in cancer cells in comparison to normal cells. Therefore, it is possible to distinguish malignant cells by mapping the position of labeled marker genes in the nucleus. This NIH invention provides methods of detecting abnormal cells in a sample using the spatial position of one or more genes within the nucleus of a cell, as well as a kit for detecting abnormal cells using such methods. The invention also provides methods of identifying gene markers for abnormal cells using the spatial position of one or more genes within the nucleus of a cell. Potential Applications:Diagnostic for cancer from tumor biopsies after noninvasive techniques such as a mammogram or PSA assay have suggested cancer. Benefits:
  • Sensitive detection of cancer
  • Very small sample (100-200 cells) reduces the need for invasive procedures
  • Does not require mitotic chromosomes
  • Applicable to solid tumors and blood cancers
  • Single cell assay allows analysis of subpopulations from biopsy
  • Probes to all genomic regions are available
  • Alternative or complementary to conventional diagnostics
  • Measures metastatic potential of cancer cells
  • Determination of tumor type
Contact: To discuss collaboration opportunities,contact John D. Hewes, Ph.D.For licensing inquiries, contact Kevin Chang, Ph.D. For more details, view the NIH listing for this technology.