Katherine M Ashton

University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (14)37.74 Total impact

  • Neuro-oncology. 07/2014; 16 Suppl 3:iii37.
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    Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology - 115th Meeting of the British Neuropathological Society, London; 03/2014
  • Analytical methods 01/2014; · 1.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gliomas are the most frequent primary brain tumours in adults with over 9,000 people diagnosed each year in the UK. A rapid, reagent-free and cost-effective diagnostic regime using serum spectroscopy would allow for rapid diagnostic results and for swift treatment planning and monitoring within the clinical environment. We report the use of ATR-FTIR spectral data combined with a RBF-SVM for the diagnosis of gliomas (high-grade and low-grade) from non-cancer with sensitivities and specificities on average of 93.75 and 96.53% respectively. The proposed diagnostic regime has the ability to reduce mortality and morbidity rates. (© 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim).
    Journal of Biophotonics 01/2014; · 3.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Raman spectroscopy is a non-destructive, non-invasive, rapid and economical technique which has the potential to be an excellent method for the diagnosis of cancer and understanding disease progression through retrospective studies of archived tissue samples. Historically, biobanks are generally comprised of formalin fixed paraffin preserved tissue and as a result these specimens are often used in spectroscopic research. Tissue in this state has to be dewaxed prior to Raman analysis to reduce paraffin contributions in the spectra. However, although the procedures are derived from histopathological clinical practice, the efficacy of the dewaxing procedures that are currently employed is questionable. Ineffective removal of paraffin results in corruption of the spectra and previous experiments have shown that the efficacy can depend on the dewaxing medium and processing time. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of commonly used spectroscopic substrates (CaF2, Spectrosil quartz and low-E slides) and the influence of different histological tissue types (normal, cancerous and metastatic) on tissue preparation and to assess their use for spectral histopathology. Results show that CaF2 followed by Spectrosil contribute the least to the spectral background. However, both substrates retain paraffin after dewaxing. Low-E substrates, which exhibit the most intense spectral background, do not retain wax and resulting spectra are not affected by paraffin peaks. We also show a disparity in paraffin retention depending upon the histological identity of the tissue with abnormal tissue retaining more paraffin than normal.
    The Analyst 12/2013; 139(2):446-54. · 4.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ability to diagnose brain cancer rapidly from serum samples is of great interest; such a diagnosis would allow for rapid testing and time to results providing a responsive diagnostic environment, ability to monitor treatment efficacy, early detection of recurrent tumours and screening techniques. Current methods rely upon subjective, time-consuming tests such as histological grading and are particularly invasive with the diagnostic test requiring hospitalisation of 2-3 days. A rapid diagnostic method based upon serum samples would allow for a relatively non-invasive test and open up the possibility of screening for brain cancer. We report for the first time the use of a Bioplex immunoassay to provide cytokine and angiogenesis factor levels that differ between serum from glioma and non-cancer patients specifically angiopoietin, follistatin, HGF, IL-8, leptin, PDGF-BB and PECAM-1 providing sensitivities and specificities as high as 88 % and 81 %, respectively. We also report, for the first time, the use of serum ATR-FTIR combined with a RBF SVM for the diagnosis of gliomas from non-cancer patients with sensitivities and specificities as high as 87.5 % and 100 %, respectively. We describe the combination of these techniques in an orthogonal diagnostic regime, providing strength to the diagnosis through data combinations, in a rapid diagnostic test within 5 h from serum collection (10 min for ATR-FTIR and 4 h for the Bioplex Immunoassay). This regime has the ability to revolutionise the clinical environment by providing objective measures for diagnosis allowing for increased efficiency with corresponding decreases in mortality, morbidity and economic impact upon the health services.
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry 07/2013; · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The most common initial treatment received by patients with a brain tumour is surgical removal of the growth. Precise histopathological diagnosis of brain tumours is to some extent subjective. Furthermore, currently available diagnostic imaging techniques to delineate the excision border during cytoreductive surgery lack the required spatial precision to aid surgeons. We set out to determine whether infrared (IR) and/or Raman spectroscopy combined with multivariate analysis could be applied to discriminate between normal brain tissue and different tumour types (meningioma, glioma and brain metastasis) based on the unique spectral "fingerprints" of their biochemical composition. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue blocks of normal brain and different brain tumours were de-waxed, mounted on low-E slides and desiccated before being analyzed using attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform IR (ATR-FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy. ATR-FTIR spectroscopy showed a clear segregation between normal and different tumour subtypes. Discrimination of tumour classes was also apparent with Raman spectroscopy. Further analysis of spectral data revealed changes in brain biochemical structure associated with different tumours. Decreased tentatively-assigned lipid-to-protein ratio was associated with increased tumour progression. Alteration in cholesterol esters-to-phenylalanine ratio was evident in grade IV glioma and metastatic tumours. The current study indicates that IR and/or Raman spectroscopy have the potential to provide a novel diagnostic approach in the accurate diagnosis of brain tumours and have potential for application in intra-operative diagnosis.
    Analytical methods 01/2013; 5(1):89. · 1.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The most common initial treatment received by patients with a brain tumour is surgical removal of the growth. Precise histopathological diagnosis of brain tumours is to some extent subjective. Furthermore, currently available diagnostic imaging techniques to delineate the excision border during cytoreductive surgery lack the required spatial precision to aid surgeons. We set out to determine whether infrared (IR) and/or Raman spectroscopy combined with multivariate analysis could be applied to discriminate between normal brain tissue and different tumour types (meningioma, glioma and brain metastasis) based on the unique spectral "fingerprints" of their biochemical composition. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue blocks of normal brain and different brain tumours were de-waxed, mounted on low-E slides and desiccated before being analyzed using attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform IR (ATR-FTIR) and Raman spectroscopy. ATR-FTIR spectroscopy showed a clear segregation between normal and different tumour subtypes. Discrimination of tumour classes was also apparent with Raman spectroscopy. Further analysis of spectral data revealed changes in brain biochemical structure associated with different tumours. Decreased tentatively-assigned lipid-to-protein ratio was associated with increased tumour progression. Alteration in cholesterol esters-to-phenylalanine ratio was evident in grade IV glioma and metastatic tumours. The current study indicates that IR and/or Raman spectroscopy have the potential to provide a novel diagnostic approach in the accurate diagnosis of brain tumours and have potential for application in intra-operative diagnosis.
    Analytical methods 09/2012; 5:89-102. · 1.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme is a malignant primary brain tumour with very limited treatment options. Any addition to existing treatment options which can improve prognosis and life expectancy is useful. In our study, we look at the usefulness of anti-progestogen mifepristone in causing growth suppression of glioma cell lines in the laboratory. We cultured five cell lines in the lab and exposed them to mifepristone in different doses for a total of 96 h. Five different doses of mifepristone were used. Progesterone and dexamethasone were also used as growth stimulants. Immunostaining was used to identify progesterone receptors (PRs) in the cell lines. U257/7 and IN1265 showed statistically significant growth suppression (36% and 11%, P = 0.001 and 0.03 respectively), maximal at 96 h. Growth suppression in U257/7 showed a dose response progression except with the lowest dose which was not explicable. The response of IN1265 was seen only with the highest dose of mifepristone. There was no significant growth stimulation with either dexamethasone or progesterone. None of the cell lines showed any significant positivity for PRs. We were able to produce enough growth suppression of glioma cell lines using mifepristone. This is in keeping with some of the published results in literature. This raises the possibility of using mifepristone in treating GBMs which have very limited treatment options. This, however, needs further work probably on primary glioma cultures first followed by in vivo studies before it can be used in patients.
    British Journal of Neurosurgery 11/2011; 26(3):336-9. · 0.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endometriosis is the growth of endometrial tissue outside of the uterine cavity. Its aetiology remains obscure, and it is difficult to diagnose ranging from asymptomatic to debilitating disease. Mid-infrared (IR) spectroscopy has become recognised as a potential clinical diagnostic tool. Biomolecules absorb mid-IR (4000 cm(-1) to 400 cm(-1)) and from this, a biochemical-cell fingerprint in the form of an absorbance spectrum can be derived. We set out to determine if IR spectroscopy could be used to identify underlying biochemical differences between endometrial tissues growing outside of the uterus (ectopic) from endometrial tissue of the uterus (eutopic). For comparative purposes, endometrial tissues from endometriosis-free women were also obtained (benign eutopic). Attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform IR (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy or transmission FTIR microspectroscopy was employed for spectral acquisition. Principal component analysis (PCA)-linear discriminant analysis (LDA) was used for chemometric analysis. A clear segregation was exhibited between the three categories independent of inter-individual confounding differences. Importantly, there was a marked difference between eutopic endometrial tissue from patients with or without endometriosis. This indicates that IR spectroscopy coupled with multivariate analysis (e.g., PCA-LDA) may provide a non-invasive diagnostic tool for endometriosis. By analysing the underlying biochemistry of these endometrial tissues, this approach may facilitate a better understanding of this pathology.
    The Analyst 03/2011; 136(10):2047-55. · 4.23 Impact Factor
  • Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 10/2010; 36(6):564-7. · 4.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Risk of clinically significant prostate adenocarcinoma (CaP) varies worldwide, although there is a uniform prevalence of latent disease. A hormone-responsive tissue, the prostate possesses the metabolizing capacity to biotransform a variety of environmental procarcinogens or endogenous hormones. Whether such metabolizing capacity or estrogen receptor (ER) status underlies these demographic differences in susceptibility to CaP remains unclear. With appropriate ethical permission, verified-benign tissues were obtained following transurethral resection of the prostate from a high-risk region (n = 12 UK-resident Caucasians) and a typically low-risk region (n = 14 India-resident Asians). Quantitative gene expression analysis was employed for cytochrome P450 (CYP)1B1, N-acetyltransferase (NAT)1, NAT2, catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT), sulfotransferase (SULT)1A1, ERalpha, ERbeta and aromatase (CYP19A1). To quantify the presence or absence of CYP1B1, ERalpha or ERbeta, and to identify their in situ localization, immunohistochemistry was carried out. The two cohorts had reasonably well-matched serum levels of prostate-specific antigen or hormones. Expression levels for the candidate genes investigated were similar. However, clear differences in protein levels for CYP1B1 and ERbeta were noted. Staining for CYP1B1 tended to be nuclear-associated in the basal glandular epithelial cells, and in UK-resident Caucasian tissues was present at a higher (P = 0.006) level compared with that from India-resident Asians. In contrast, a higher level of positive ERbeta staining was noted in prostates from India-resident Asians. These study findings point to differences in metabolizing capacity and ER status in benign prostate tissues that might modulate susceptibility to the emergence of clinically significant CaP in demographically distinct populations.
    Asian Journal of Andrology 11/2009; 12(2):203-14. · 2.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endometrial carcinoma consists of endometrioid (type I) and serous papillary (SP; type II) subtypes; a rarer form is malignant mixed müllerian tumours (MMMT; type II/mixed). We set out to determine whether one might be able to biochemically signature these subtypes using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) microspectroscopy and distinguish non-tamoxifen associated from tamoxifen-associated cases. Paraffin-embedded blocks were obtained from non-tamoxifen associated cases reported as endometrioid (n=7), SP (n=4) or MMMT (n=4). From tamoxifen-associated cases, endometrioid (n=1), SP (n=3) and MMMT (n=4) blocks were retrieved; benign tissues (n=3) were also analysed. Exploiting synchrotron-based radiation, sections (10-microm thick) on BaF(2) windows were interrogated through a 10 microm x 10 microm aperture. Point spectra were derived from >or=10 locations in each of six glandular elements per tissue; a further 20 stromal spectra were obtained. Following normalisation to Amide I, average spectra (1800-900 cm(-1)) per gland or stroma were analysed for variance using principal component analysis (PCA) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA). In scores plots, segregation of spectra from different subtypes or benign tissues was noted and it proved possible to distinguish tamoxifen-associated cases. In the PCA-LDA loadings plots, the wavenumbers that highlighted variance for benign or endometrioid carcinoma tissues were in the protein region (1800-1480 cm(-1)) whereas those contributing most to SP or MMMT segregation were primarily in the DNA/RNA region (1425-900 cm(-1)) of the vibrational spectrum. Our results suggest that the application of FTIR microspectroscopy is a powerful new approach in disease diagnosis and characterisation.
    Cancer letters 11/2008; 274(2):208-17. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer (CaP) mostly occurs in the peripheral zone whereas benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) occurs in the transition zone. Human prostates (n = 12) were obtained, with ethical approval, from radical retropubic prostatectomies. Following resection, tissue sets consisting of peripheral zone and transition zone were isolated from a lobe pre-operatively identified as negative for CaP. Real-time RT-PCR was employed to quantitatively examine CYP1A1, CYP1A2 and CYP1B1. Quantifiable CYP1A1 expression was observed (in nine out of twelve tissue sets) whilst CYP1A2 mRNA transcripts, although detectable (in six out of twelve tissue sets), were unquantifiable. In ten tissue sets, 2- to 6-fold higher CYP1B1 expression in peripheral zone as compared to transition zone was observed. In the other two, equal CYP1B1 expression levels were observed; retrospective examination identified malignancy in one of the zones. Inter-individual variations (up to 10-fold) in CYP1B1 were also noted. Immunohistochemistry for CYP1B1 showed epithelial and stromal nuclear staining. Since CYP1B1 metabolises hormones and carcinogens our results, if confirmed, suggest that this enzyme may influence susceptibility to CaP.
    Cancer Letters 12/2004; 215(1):69-78. · 4.26 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

68 Citations
37.74 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2014
    • University of Wolverhampton
      Wolverhampton, England, United Kingdom
  • 2004–2014
    • Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
      Chorley, England, United Kingdom
  • 2013
    • University of Central Lancashire
      • Division of Chemistry
      Preston, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2004–2012
    • Lancaster University
      • Lancaster Environment Centre
      Lancaster, England, United Kingdom