(Sept. 25, 2017) -- Jing Yong Ye, professor of biomedical engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), has received a two-year, $354,617 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute to support the development of his noninvasive method of detecting prostate cancer.
Ye’s research team has been working on the development of a novel microscope based on a photonic crystal biosensor to detect the cancer through a urine sample. It will significantly improve accuracy compared to the approach used in current clinical practice.
Prostate cancer is the second most prevalent type of cancer, and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, in men. Early detection is key to survival, which is why doctors are required to screen all men over the age of 50 for the disease.
To screen patients for prostate cancer, medical professionals take a blood sample and look for prostate-specific antigen (PSA). If a high level of PSA is found, the patient is suspected to have prostate cancer and required to have a prostate biopsy.
Unfortunately, PSA tests are far from providing satisfactory diagnoses and result in a large number of unnecessary prostate biopsies due to a high false-positive rate. This is because PSA elevation may also occur in men with infection and chronic inflammation or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
“False positive diagnoses are very common in prostate cancer tests,” Ye said. “As a result, a patient may undergo a biopsy he doesn’t need, which is painful and could cause an infection. Also, because prostate cancer is highly heterogeneous and even multicore prostate biopsy only samples a few local areas, it can easily be missed by clinicians.”
Since about 70 percent of men who go through the biopsy process are found to be cancer-free, Ye wanted to look for a better way. His research team will develop a noninvasive imaging approach to check urine samples, since cells from the prostate are shed into urine naturally.
“The system we are developing utilizes a sensitive biosensor, which allows us to distinguish cancer cells from normal cells based on a unique feature of the cells,” he said. “If you can detect a cancer cell, you’re starting from a more precise place and you can give a more accurate diagnosis.”
Ye’s laboratory develops cutting edge tools based on different biosensors, optical imaging methods and nanobiotechnology to address critical issues in biomedical engineering research and applications.
“We need to use every weapon in our arsenal to attack this disease,” Ye said. “It’s important to think outside the box and use innovation to address these critical issues.”
UTSA is recognized as one of the top five young universities in the nation by Times Higher Education.
Learn more about the UTSA Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Experience a fun, interactive week at UTSA as new students and their families take the first steps to becoming a Roadrunner.Various locations, Main Campus and Downtown Campuses
Finance and Budget Modeling Task Force presents a panel presentation of experts from 4 universities with experience in incentive-based budgeting. All UTSA campus community is invited to attend and be informed about budgeting processes.Business Building Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
This event showcases the work of trainees, faculty, staff and students from multiple disciplines and public health agencies across San Antonio.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104), Main Campus
This exhibit highlights the UTSA Special Collections, which includes historic photographs from Texas, San Antonio and UTSA history.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Come learn about the benefits available before the enrollment period July 15-31.Business Building University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
Come learn about the benefits available before the enrollment period July 15-31.Durango Building River Walk Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
The UTSA Art Collection and UT Health San Antonio present art exhibit opening reception for show featuring works from the private collection of Retired Air Force Master Sargent Cody Vance. Focus is the nexus of art and science.South Texas Research Facility lobby, 8403 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio
The gala brings together UTSA alumni, friends and guests to celebrate the association's 41 years of scholarships, services, programs and the 2018 Alumni Award recipients.Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr, San Antonio