OCT 16, 2013 01:00 PM PDT

Molecular Diagnostics in Detection, Diagnosis, and Prognosis of Cancer

  • Assistant Professor, Biomedical Diagnostic & Therapeutic Sciences, , Oakland University
      Kristin Landis-Piwowar is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences at Oakland University in Rochester, MI. She earned a bachelors degree from Ferris State University in Medical Technology, a Masters degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from Michigan State University and a PhD in Cancer Biology from Wayne State Universitys School of Medicine in the laboratory of Q. Ping Dou. Landis-Piwowar was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan, Department of Pathology, where she conducted research to understand CD30 signaling to NFkB in anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Landis-Piwowar joined the faculty at Oakland University in Rochester, MI where she currently holds rank as an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences. Landis-Piwowar has published more than 25 peer-reviewed journal articles on cancer therapeutics, prevention, and mechanisms of disease and has authored numerous book chapters. Her research interests are centered on the physiologic effects of gold-peptidomimetics in cancer cells, and deciphering a familial relationship among chronic lymphocytic leukemia and hairy cell leukemia.


    Cancer cells have historically been classified by microscopic analysis of blood smears and tissue sections. Current technologies use molecular techniques to categorize and classify tumor cells by the identification of chromosomal aberrations, and the increased or decreased expression of genes and gene products. Both genomics (the study of genes) and proteomics (the study of proteins) are therefore essential components of molecular diagnostics, which determines how genes and proteins interact in a cell. The molecular signature or profile of a cancer cell can be determined by the presence or absence of gene activity in cancer and pre-cancerous cells by real time PCR, fluorescence in situ hybridization, microarrays, etc. This profile allows for enhanced detection, earlier and more accurate diagnosis and prognosis, and can aid the physician in determining if cancer cells persist after treatment, all of which, are factors that contribute to the highest quality in patient care. Objectives: 1. Contrast oncogenes with tumor-suppressor genes and list three of each 2. Explain loss of heterozygosity and a common mechanism of its detection 3. Describe FISH and its application in one type of cancer

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