(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.
The Roadrunner community and nearby residents are highly encouraged to cast their votes at UTSA, a designated early voting site for the March 3 Texas presidential primary election.H-E-B Student Union, Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), Main Campus
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in health care, you won’t want to miss UTSA’s 14th annual Health Professions Day. Meet with representatives of health professions programs at schools such as Texas Tech University Health Science Center, University of Texas Medical Branch, University North Texas Health Science Center, University of the Incarnate Word, and many more. Free and open to UTSA students, local area college and high school students, and community members.Student Union, Retama Galleria (SU First Floor Corridor), Main Campus
An FBI subject matter expert will discuss the threat to U.S. technology and public sector from foreign adversaries, specific technologies sought and vectors used to illicitly obtain them, how to best safeguard intellectual property.Durango Building (DB 2.112A), Downtown Campus
Why just leap when you can dash? The Alumni Association’s 36th annual Diploma Dash 5K and City Championship is a great opportunity to run or walk for a great cause: scholarships for UTSA students.Main Campus
Students are encouraged to attend to obtain important information about Spring Commencement and life after UTSA. Graduating students can order their cap and gown and other items, win prizes and capture lasting memories with fellow Roadrunners at a selfie station. Participants should take a UTSA student ID for entry.H-E-B Student Union, Ballrooms (HSU 1.104/1.106), Main Campus
UTSA’s first Wellbeing Fair is a part of the President’s Initiative of Enriching Campus Wellbeing. UTSA is committed to the well-being of each member of the campus community and recognizes that numerous factors contribute to overall wellness: physical and mental health, diet and nutrition, physical activity, stress management and self-care, social behaviors and more. The fair will give students, faculty and staff an opportunity to participate in well-being activities, obtain well-being information and learn about available services. Participants will become more competent in making healthy decisions to take a more proactive approach in their own well-being.Paseo Principal, Student Union, Main Campus
Students are encouraged to attend to obtain important information about Spring Commencement and life after UTSA. Graduating students can order their cap and gown and other items, win prizes and capture lasting memories with fellow Roadrunners at a selfie station. Participants should take a UTSA student ID for entry.Durango Building, El Mercado Room (DB 1.208), Downtown Campus
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