29.12.2011

New breakthrough "could lead to retinal cancer treatment"

New breakthrough "could lead to retinal cancer treatment"

By Martin Burns

Researchers believe they have made a discovery that could lead to treatment for cancer of the retina.

Scientists at St Jude Children's Research hospital used their novel ability to detect retinal anomalies at cellular level with an algorithm which allows researchers to analyse thousands of cells rather than just a few dozen.

This tool has helped to uncover the role of retinoblastoma tumour suppressor gene, Rb, in the developing retina, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researcher Mahmut Karakaya explained that without the computer programme and automated tool, the process was very time-consuming and labour intensive.

The Department of Energy lab's Ryan Kerekes explained: "Our paper shows that horizontal neurons known to be deficient in this gene exhibited abnormalities in the way their dendrites - the arms that connect to other cells - were organized after a certain number of days after birth." 

by Adrian Galbreth


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