Tag Archives: Rush University Medical Center

Researchers Discover Antibody that May Help Detect Ovarian Cancer in its Earliest Stages

Captured by Rush Medical Center

Using a new approach to developing biomarkers for the very early detection of ovarian cancer, researchers at Rush University Medical Center have identified a molecule in the bloodstream of infertile women that could one day be used to screen for those at high risk for the disease — or even those with early-stage ovarian cancer.

The molecule, an antibody that the human body manufactures, is an autoimmune response to mesothelin. This well-studied protein is found in abundance on the surface of ovarian cancer cells but present only in limited amounts in normal human tissue.

The study is published in the online version issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, published by the American Society for Cancer Research.

“The finding is extremely important because at present medical tests are unable to detect ovarian cancer in its early stages, which is why death rates from this disease are so high,” said Judith Luborsky, PhD, professor of pharmacology, obstetrics and gynecology and preventive medicine at Rush and lead author of the study.

“Our approach to discovering cancer biomarkers was unique in this study. Instead of investigating molecules specific to ovarian cancer alone, we asked what molecules women with a risk of ovarian cancer and those with ovarian cancer had in common,” Luborsky said.

The study enabled the researchers to explain the link between infertility and ovarian cancer that has been established in numerous epidemiological surveys. Read more…

Four New Genes for Alzheimer’s Disease Risk Identified by Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium

Captured by Rush University Medical Center

In the largest study of its kind, researchers from a consortium of 44 universities and research institutions in the United States, including Rush University Medical Center, identified four new genes linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Each gene individually adds to the risk of having this common form of dementia later in life.

The findings, published in the April issue of Nature Genetics, offer new insight into the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

“This is a major advance in the field thanks to many scientists across the country working together over several years,” said Dr. David Bennett, director of the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center. “These findings add key information needed to understand the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and should help in discovering approaches to its treatment and prevention.” 

In the study, the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium conducted a genetic analysis of more than 11,000 people with Alzheimer’s disease and nearly the same number of elderly people who have no symptoms of dementia.

The Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center contributed clinical and genomic data from more than 1,500 participants in two of its premier cohort studies, the Rush Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project.  Three other consortia contributed confirming data from additional people, bringing the total number of people analyzed to over 54,000.  The consortium also contributed to the identification of a fifth gene reported by other groups of investigators from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and other European countries. Read more…