Explain the importance of Tissue technology………………….
The early detection of the mutation in genes is the future for cancer research technology to all scientists interested in finding a cure for cancerous diseases. Several individuals or scientific organizations have invented or discovered new devices or technologies that can be useful in the cancer research. The detection of mutation is a crucial part in the diagnosis of common cancer including lung cancer, colon cancer and melanoma (DJ Summers, march 30 2012). Although finding a cure for the various types of cancer is not an easy task as the cancerous cell keep on mutating, major breakthroughs have been made allover the world by scientists. Some tissue technologies could help researchers understand how cancer grows and spreads so that they learn how to treat in effectively.
There are other functional techniques including cDNA microarrays, serial analysis of gene expression and proteomics surveys that enable the analysis of thousands of genes and proteins at once according to Juha Kononen (2001). The development of these advanced techniques is now changing the face of cancer research and taking it to the right direction. But compared to other high throughput molecular genetics techniques, most tissue based molecular analyses are slow, tiring and need extensive manual interaction.
Tissue microarray technology
Tissue microarray (TMA) technology is a technique that aids in the molecular profiling of cancer. This technology allows for rapid visualization of molecular targets in as many as a thousand specimens at a time, either at the DNA, RNA or at the protein level. TMA technology was developed in order to address the limitations of conventional techniques and to enable molecular pathology studies of genomes in large scale. This is a technology that is based at the population level as a research tool and so it is not intended to make diagnoses of individual cases. Several TMA studies of cancer have already been published by various authors with each case using different sizes of materials ranging from 88 to 4700 tumors on different molecular targets.
TMA technology has over the years been adopted among research institutions and utilized in cancer research along with cDNA microarray technology. TMA technology provides an insight into how cancer develops prognosis and treatment although it is not currently used to give a primary diagnosis.
Recently, TMA has been accepted as a standard method for identifying or validating specific molecular markers associated with cancer. For example, Alpha-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase (AMACR) was first identified as a tissue biomarker for prostate cancer through cDNA microarray technology and confirmation of the discovery using TMA helped to support its use in clinical practice (Wenjin et al, 2006). TMA has also been used by various scientists to explore proteins over a large set of specimens for their roles in tumorigenesis, cancer cell survival and proliferation, metastasis and tumor invasion. According toWenjin et al (2006) members of Known signaling pathways were tested using TMA technology to confirm the contribution of these pathways in the development of cancer.
Applications of TMA analysis
This technology has widely been used to study gene targets found in genomic surveys by cDNA microarrays. For instance, Barlund et al found over expression of ribosomal 6 kinase gene in breast cancer cell line using cDNA microarrays and later using TMAs he showed that 9-15% of breast cancer amplify this gene (Kononen, 2001). Similarly, studies of prostrate and renal cancer have been reported. There is a possibility that TMAs can be used to associate molecular alterations with a particular stage of tumor progression. For example according to Kononen ( 2001) amplification of the AR gene and over expression of IGFBP2 protein were found to be common in end stage prostate cancers but not in untreated primary tumors.
Perrone et al is a scientist who studied tumor proliferation using TMAs prostate cancer cases from Caucasians and African-Americans. This study therefore indicates the value of TMA analysis in exploring ethnic differences in cancer causation. Other than cancer research, TMA is likely to find applications in many other fields such arrays of individual cells, aging and other diseases just to mention but a few.
Although great advances continue to be made to facilitate imaging and archiving of TMA specimens, automatic evaluation and quantitative analysis of TMA remains a challenge to modern researchers.
TMA technology continues to be evolved by scientists all over the world in order to assist in finding a cure for cancer. For the past years a large part of the world’s population has been affected by the many kinds of cancers known to man and unfortunately perished if unable to access treatment in time. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world next to AIDS. Invention or discovery of technologies in order to find the cure for cancer will be fundamental in ensuring that these deaths are reduced significantly.
Wenjin Chen and David Foran. “Advances in cancer tissue microarray technology towards
improved understanding and diagnostics”. 2006. Web.25 April 20012.
Kononen, J., Bubendorf, L., Kallioniemi, A., Barlund, M., Schraml, P., Leighton, S.,
Torhorst, J., Mihatsch, M.J., Sauter, G. and Kallioniemi, O.P. Tissue microarrays for high-throughput molecular profiling of tumor specimens Nature. (Switzerland),1998. Print.
DJ Summers. Tissue technology that helps cancer research. 2012. Web. 25 April. 2012.
Juha, Kononen, and Giudo Sauter. Tissue microarray technology for high throughput
molecular profiling of cancer. Switzerland, 2001. Print.
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