Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology
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Cancer is deadly because cancer cells invade and metastasize. Studies from us and others have showed that cell nanomechanical
properties, e.g., cell elasticity, softness, and deformability, may be a new class of quantitative markers of tumor cell behavior.
The aggressive tumor cells may be softer, more deformable, and less stiff and thereby have more flexibility and mobility than
benign cells. The cell nanomechanic property is regulated by signal pathways of cytoskeletal remodeling. Using Atomic Force
Microscopy and other state of art deformity cytometer, we measured the metastatic tumor cells obtained from remnants of
patient?s body cavity fluid samples, and found a marked difference in softness and deformability between malignant cells and
benign mesothelial cells present in the same sample, and common modulus of cell softness in different cancer types metastatic
to body cavity. We further demonstrated that chemopreventive and therapeutic agents including green tea extract and other
commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs have profound effect on cancer cell mechanics, and the measurements may be a marker
for platin-based drug sensitivity. Works on primary tumors collected by fine needle aspiration and other cytological samples for
example urine is now undertaking. Together, nanomechanical analysis can be performed on clinical cytological specimens, and
Youngs modular E may be a quantitative functional biomarker that can be used for personalized cancer management. Combining
cytomorphological analysis with molecular expression profiling as well as functional cancer cell mechanical measurements may
bring the morphologically based cytology into the age of FUNCTIONAL nanocytology.
Jianyu Rao, is a tenured Professor in Pathology and Epidemiology at David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles. He
is the Chief of cytopathology section and Chief of gynecological pathology section at Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine of UCLA
David Geffen School of Medicine. He is American Pathology Board-certified pathologist with sub-specialty board in cytopathology, a member of
College of American Pathologist, a member of UCLA?s ACCESS graduate program, and a member of Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. His
clinical expertise is genitourinary tract pathology, gynecological pathology, and cytopathology. His main research interest is to study cytoskeletal
actin remodeling in tumorigenesis and to develop biomarkers and new technologies, including nanotechnologies that can be used for cancer
cell screening and diagnosis in either individualized therapeutic and population-based chemopreventive settings. He has 28 years of research
experience in these areas, with over 100 publications and research funding from NIH, DOD, State, and private sources. Recently he is interested in
adding nanomechanical analysis as a new dimension for functional cytological analysis of cancer cells.
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