We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress hp
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App

3D Genomic Profiling Technique Reveals Precancerous Pancreatic Lesions

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 20 Jun 2024
Print article
Image: A 3D printed model of precancerous pancreatic lesions called PanINs found in histology images (Photo courtesy of Ashley Kiemen)
Image: A 3D printed model of precancerous pancreatic lesions called PanINs found in histology images (Photo courtesy of Ashley Kiemen)

Small precancerous lesions in the pancreas, known as pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias (PanINs), are precursors to some of the most aggressive and deadly forms of pancreatic cancer. Due to their minute size, PanINs are difficult to detect and are not visible through standard radiological examinations. Consequently, patients often receive a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, such as pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), only after the cancer has advanced and spread to other organs. Traditional 2D histological staining techniques, which involve slicing tissues thinly, staining, and examining them under a microscope, offer only a limited view of PanINs, failing to throw light on their origins and how they progress to cancer. To gain a clearer understanding of PanINs, researchers have now designed a 3D approach.

This novel 3D genomic profiling method, developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine (Baltimore, MD, USA), successfully identifies PanINs and provides the most comprehensive 3D map of precancerous lesions in the human pancreas to date, paving the way for early detection strategies for PDAC and other pancreatic cancers. After processing tissue from 38 normal pancreatic samples into hundreds of sequential 2D slides, the researchers employed CODA, a machine-learning pipeline, to analyze and transform these slide images into digital 3D models.

These 3D reconstructions uncovered complex networks of interconnected PanINs, showing an average density of 13 PanINs per cubic centimeter, with a range varying from 1 to 31 PanINs per cubic centimeter. Observations indicated that patients with PDAC elsewhere in the pancreas tended to have a higher PanIN burden compared to those with nonductal diseases, although the differences were not statistically significant. The team also conducted further analysis on eight of the samples through 3D-guided microdissection and DNA sequencing of specific PanINs. The genomic analysis revealed that these networks consisted of genetically distinct PanINs, each driven by different gene mutations, including mutations in the KRAS gene, a common precursor in most pancreatic cancers. This discovery of multiple independent mutations within precancerous lesions is unprecedented in other organs. While the CODA technology is not yet suitable for diagnostic use, its potential extends beyond pancreatic diseases as it can be adapted for various tissues, diseases, or model organisms.

“Not many people actually develop pancreatic cancer, so we were shocked to find a lot of precancer, or PanINs, within the normal regions of the pancreas,” said Laura Wood, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology and oncology at the Kimmel Cancer Center and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and one of the study’s senior authors. “This research highlights what we don’t yet know about normal aging and raises fundamental questions about how cancer arises in the human pancreas.”

“This is just the beginning,” Wood added. “We want to continue to investigate what this means in the context of other organ tissues. If normal tissue has thousands of PanINs, then how do we identify which ones are clinically relevant to disease and which ones are not?”

Related Links:
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Platinum Member
Flu SARS-CoV-2 Combo Test
OSOM® Flu SARS-CoV-2 Combo Test
Magnetic Bead Separation Modules
POCT Fluorescent Immunoassay Analyzer
Gold Member
Helicobacter Pylori Test

Print article


Clinical Chemistry

view channel
Image: The new DxC 500i Clinical Analyzer is an integrated clinical chemistry and immunoassay analyzer (Photo courtesy of Beckman Coulter Diagnostics)

Integrated Chemistry and Immunoassay Analyzer with Extensive Assay Menu Offers Flexibility, Scalability and Data Commutability

As global healthcare systems increasingly shift towards networked laboratory operational models to enhance efficiency and patient access, there is a greater need for innovative solutions tailored to the... Read more


view channel
Image: The Truvian diagnostic platform combines clinical chemistry, immunoassay and hematology testing in a single run (Photo courtesy of Truvian Health)

Automated Benchtop System to Bring Blood Testing To Anyone, Anywhere

Almost all medical decisions are dependent upon laboratory test results, which are essential for disease prevention and the management of chronic illnesses. However, routine blood testing remains limited worldwide.... Read more


view channel
Image: The Simplexa C. auris direct kit is a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay run on the LIAISON MDX instrument (Photo courtesy of Diasorin)

Novel Molecular Test to Help Prevent and Control Multi Drug-Resistant Fungal Pathogen in Healthcare Settings

Candida auris (C. auris) is a rapidly emerging multi drug-resistant fungal pathogen that is commonly found in healthcare environments, where it presents a challenge due to its ability to asymptomatically... Read more


view channel
Image: Beckman Coulter will utilize the ALZpath pTau217 antibody to detect key biomarker for Alzheimer\'s disease on its DxI 9000 immunoassay analyzer (Photo courtesy of Beckman Coulter)

Beckman Coulter Licenses Alzpath's Proprietary P-tau 217 Antibody to Develop Alzheimer's Blood Test

Cognitive assessments have traditionally been the primary method for diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease, but this approach has its limitations as symptoms become apparent only after significant brain changes... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.