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miRNA-ISH for Cancer of Unknown Primary

miRNA-ISH for Cancer of Unknown Primary


World-wide approximately 5% of all cancers are determined to have an occult or unknown primary location, upon initial assessment, prior to completing a full pathology report. [Oien] Unfortunately in 20-50% of CUP cases the primary tumor is never found. These cancers of unknown primary (CUP) result from metastasis. Occult cancer is most frequent in individuals around 60 years of age and an estimated 31,480 cases of CUP will be diagnosed in the US in 2019, making up around 2% of all US cancers. [Siegel] People with a family history of lung, kidney, or colorectal cancer are more likely than average to develop occult cancer. [Hemminki] Median survival time is 8-12 months, 80% of patients live only 6 months after diagnosis. [Losa]


Patients with metastatic cancer are often recruited to clinical trials using investigational drugs due to a lack of effective market approved treatment options. CUPs are most often found in the liver, lung, bone, brain; lymph nodes; and peritoneal and pleural serous cavities. [Oien] Once a tumor has been discovered, in order to provide a working diagnosis for the treating oncologist, a detailed pathology report must be prepared. A crucial component of this report is a microRNA in situ hybridization (miRNA-ISH) based classification of the tumor to aide categorization and for determining the site of origin.

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Integrated analysis in cancer diagnostics: why miRNA is better than mRNA?

Cancer networks are specific, contextual, dynamic and interactive! The best way to delineate complex cancer networks is to integrate both transcriptomics (mRNA) expression profile as well as miRNA expression profile – this imparts both the functional and regulatory messages in a cancer context.  However, recent spate of miRNA analysis in the elucidation of cancer networks suggests specific and distinct advantages of miRNA profiling over mRNA signatures – both biological and technical.

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FISH automation to Identify Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patients - US

May 18, 2016

In a new study, published in Nature’s Blood Cancer Journal, researchers using the Xmatrx FISH automation system identified MCL-1 as a target for therapy in resistant Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). NHL is a type of cancer that starts in the lymphatic system, a part of the immune system, and can spread to various organs including bone marrow, liver and brain. NHL is one of the most common cancers in the United States, accounting for about 4% of all cancers. In 2016 an estimated 73,000 people will be diagnosed with NHL and 20,000 people will die from this cancer in the US. On average, the survival rate for people with NHL (stages I-IV) over five years is 69% and over ten years drops to 59%. Symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, fever, belly pain, or chest pain while treatments may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, stem-cell transplant, or medications. Since there is not a standard screening test for non-symptomatic individuals, NHL is often not diagnosed until the later stages, which have less favorable prognosis rates.

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