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Laura K. Bianchi, M.D.

Laura K. Bianchi, M.D.

Laura K. Bianchi, M.D.

Colorectal Cancer Prevention, Colon Polyps, Genetics of Colorectal Cancer
  • Locations

    NorthShore Medical Group

    1000 Central St.
    Suite 615
    Evanston, IL 60201
    847.657.1900 847.570.1534 fax
    View Map: Google
    This location is wheelchair accessible.
  • Publications
    • Rectal Optical Markers for In Vivo Risk Stratification of Premalignant Colorectal Lesions.

      Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2015 Oct 01

      Authors: Radosevich AJ, Mutyal NN, Eshein A, Nguyen TQ, Gould B, Rogers JD, Goldberg MJ, Bianchi LK, Yen EF, Konda V, Rex DK, Van Dam J, Backman V, Roy HK
      Colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States despite being eminently preventable by colonoscopy via removal of premalignant adenomas. In order to more effectively reduce colorectal cancer mortality, improved screening paradigms are needed. Our group pioneered the use of low-coherence enhanced backscattering (LEBS) spectroscopy to detect the presence of adenomas throughout the colon via optical interrogation of the rectal mucosa. In a previous ex vivo biopsy study of 219 patients, LEBS demonstrated excellent diagnostic potential with 89.5% accuracy for advanced adenomas. The objective of the current cross-sectional study is to assess the viability of rectal LEBS in vivo.
      Measurements from 619 patients were taken using a minimally invasive 3.4-mm diameter LEBS probe introduced into the rectum via anoscope or direct insertion, requiring approximately 1 minute from probe insertion to withdrawal. The diagnostic LEBS marker was formed as a logistic regression of the optical reduced scattering coefficient [Formula: see text] and mass density distribution factor D.
      The rectal LEBS marker was significantly altered in patients harboring advanced adenomas and multiple non-advanced adenomas throughout the colon. Blinded and cross-validated test performance characteristics showed 88% sensitivity to advanced adenomas, 71% sensitivity to multiple non-advanced adenomas, and 72% specificity in the validation set.
      We demonstrate the viability of in vivo LEBS measurement of histologically normal rectal mucosa to predict the presence of clinically relevant adenomas throughout the colon. The current work represents the next step in the development of rectal LEBS as a tool for colorectal cancer risk stratification.
      PMID: 25991816 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Colonic mucosal fatty acid synthase as an early biomarker for colorectal neoplasia: modulation by obesity and gender.

      Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology 2014 Nov

      Authors: Cruz MD, Wali RK, Bianchi LK, Radosevich AJ, Crawford SE, Jepeal L, Goldberg MJ, Weinstein J, Momi N, Roy P, Calderwood AH, Backman V, Roy HK
      We have previously reported that colonic pericryptal microvascular blood flow is augmented in the premalignant colonic epithelium, highlighting the increased metabolic demand of the proliferative epithelium as a marker of field carcinogenesis. However, its molecular basis is unexplored. In this study, we assessed the expression of a regulator of the "lipogenic switch," fatty acid synthase (FASN), in early colon carcinogenesis for its potential biomarker utility for concurrent neoplasia.
      FASN expression (IHC) in the colonic epithelium from azoxymethane and polyposis in rat colon (Pirc) models of colorectal cancer was studied. FASN mRNA expression from endoscopically normal rectal mucosa was evaluated and correlated with colonoscopic findings (pathologic confirmation of neoplasia).
      FASN expression progressively increased from premalignant to malignant stage in the azoxymethane model (1.9- to 2.5-fold; P < 0.0001) and was also higher in the adenomas compared with adjacent uninvolved mucosa (1.8- to 3.4-fold; P < 0.001) in the Pirc model. Furthermore, FASN was significantly overexpressed in rectal biopsies from patients harboring adenomas compared with those with no adenomas. These effects were accentuated in male (∼2-fold) and obese patients (1.4-fold compared with those with body mass index < 30). Overall, the performance of rectal FASN was excellent (AUROC of 0.81).
      FASN is altered in the premalignant colonic mucosa and may serve as a marker for colonic neoplasia present elsewhere. The enhanced effects in men and obesity may have implications for identifying patient subgroups at risk for early-onset neoplasia.
      These findings support the role of rectal FASN expression as a reliable biomarker of colonic neoplasia.
      PMID: 25155760 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Spatially resolved optical and ultrastructural properties of colorectal and pancreatic field carcinogenesis observed by inverse spectroscopic optical coherence tomography.

      Journal of biomedical optics 2014 Mar

      Authors: Yi J, Radosevich AJ, Stypula-Cyrus Y, Mutyal NN, Azarin SM, Horcher E, Goldberg MJ, Bianchi LK, Bajaj S, Roy HK, Backman V
      Field carcinogenesis is the initial stage of cancer progression. Understanding field carcinogenesis is valuable for both cancer biology and clinical medicine. Here, we used inverse spectroscopic optical coherence tomography to study colorectal cancer (CRC) and pancreatic cancer (PC) field carcinogenesis. Depth-resolved optical and ultrastructural properties of the mucosa were quantified from histologically normal rectal biopsies from patients with and without colon adenomas (n=85) as well as from histologically normal peri-ampullary duodenal biopsies from patients with and without PC (n=22). Changes in the epithelium and stroma in CRC field carcinogenesis were separately quantified. In both compartments, optical and ultra-structural alterations were consistent. Optical alterations included lower backscattering (μb) and reduced scattering (μs') coefficients and higher anisotropy factor g. Ultrastructurally pronounced alterations were observed at length scales up to ∼450  nm, with the shape of the mass density correlation function having a higher shape factor D, thus implying a shift to larger length scales. Similar alterations were found in the PC field carcinogenesis despite the difference in genetic pathways and etiologies. We further verified that the chromatin clumping in epithelial cells and collagen cross-linking caused D to increase in vitro and could be among the mechanisms responsible for the observed changes in epithelium and stroma, respectively.
      PMID: 24643530 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Nanoscale changes in chromatin organization represent the initial steps of tumorigenesis: a transmission electron microscopy study.

      BMC cancer 2014 Mar 14

      Authors: Cherkezyan L, Stypula-Cyrus Y, Subramanian H, White C, Dela Cruz M, Wali RK, Goldberg MJ, Bianchi LK, Roy HK, Backman V
      Nuclear alterations are a well-known manifestation of cancer. However, little is known about the early, microscopically-undetectable stages of malignant transformation. Based on the phenomenon of field cancerization, the tissue in the field of a tumor can be used to identify and study the initiating events of carcinogenesis. Morphological changes in nuclear organization have been implicated in the field of colorectal cancer (CRC), and we hypothesize that characterization of chromatin alterations in the early stages of CRC will provide insight into cancer progression, as well as serve as a biomarker for early detection, risk stratification and prevention.
      For this study we used transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images of nuclei harboring pre-neoplastic CRC alterations in two models: a carcinogen-treated animal model of early CRC, and microscopically normal-appearing tissue in the field of human CRC. We quantify the chromatin arrangement using approaches with two levels of complexity: 1) binary, where chromatin is separated into areas of dense heterochromatin and loose euchromatin, and 2) grey-scale, where the statistics of continuous mass-density distribution within the nucleus is quantified by its spatial correlation function.
      We established an increase in heterochromatin content and clump size, as well as a loss of its characteristic peripheral positioning in microscopically normal pre-neoplastic cell nuclei. Additionally, the analysis of chromatin density showed that its spatial distribution is altered from a fractal to a stretched exponential.
      We characterize quantitatively and qualitatively the nanoscale structural alterations preceding cancer development, which may allow for the establishment of promising new biomarkers for cancer risk stratification and diagnosis. The findings of this study confirm that ultrastructural changes of chromatin in field carcinogenesis represent early neoplastic events leading to the development of well-documented, microscopically detectable hallmarks of cancer.
      PMID: 24629088 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Ultrastructural alterations in field carcinogenesis measured by enhanced backscattering spectroscopy.

      Journal of biomedical optics 2013 Sep

      Authors: Radosevich AJ, Mutyal NN, Yi J, Stypula-Cyrus Y, Rogers JD, Goldberg MJ, Bianchi LK, Bajaj S, Roy HK, Backman V
      Optical characterization of biological tissue in field carcinogenesis offers a method with which to study the mechanisms behind early cancer development and the potential to perform clinical diagnosis. Previously, low-coherence enhanced backscattering spectroscopy (LEBS) has demonstrated the ability to discriminate between normal and diseased organs based on measurements of histologically normal-appearing tissue in the field of colorectal (CRC) and pancreatic (PC) cancers. Here, we implement the more comprehensive enhanced backscattering (EBS) spectroscopy to better understand the structural and optical changes which lead to the previous findings. EBS provides high-resolution measurement of the spatial reflectance profile P(rs) between 30 microns and 2.7 mm, where information about nanoscale mass density fluctuations in the mucosa can be quantified. A demonstration of the length-scales at which P(rs) is optimally altered in CRC and PC field carcinogenesis is given and subsequently these changes are related to the tissue's structural composition. Three main conclusions are made. First, the most significant changes in P(rs) occur at short length-scales corresponding to the superficial mucosal layer. Second, these changes are predominantly attributable to a reduction in the presence of subdiffractional structures. Third, similar trends are seen for both cancer types, suggesting a common progression of structural alterations in each.
      PMID: 24008865 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Nanocytology of rectal colonocytes to assess risk of colon cancer based on field cancerization.

      Cancer research 2012 Jun 01

      Authors: Damania D, Roy HK, Subramanian H, Weinberg DS, Rex DK, Goldberg MJ, Muldoon J, Cherkezyan L, Zhu Y, Bianchi LK, Shah D, Pradhan P, Borkar M, Lynch H, Backman V
      Developing a minimally invasive and cost-effective prescreening strategy for colon cancer is critical because of the impossibility of conducting colonoscopy on the entire at-risk population. The concept of field carcinogenesis, in which normal-appearing tissue away from a tumor has molecular and, consequently, nano-architectural abnormalities, offers one attractive approach to identify high-risk patients. In this study, we investigated whether the novel imaging technique partial wave spectroscopic (PWS) microscopy could risk-stratify patients harboring precancerous lesions of the colon, using an optically measured biomarker (L(d)) obtained from microscopically normal but nanoscopically altered cells. Rectal epithelial cells were examined from 146 patients, including 72 control patients, 14 patients with diminutive adenomas, 20 patients with nondiminutive/nonadvanced adenomas, 15 patients with advanced adenomas/high-grade dysplasia, 12 patients with genetic mutation leading to Lynch syndrome, and 13 patients with cancer. We found that the L(d) obtained from rectal colonocytes was well correlated with colon tumorigenicity in our patient cohort and in an independent validation set of 39 additional patients. Therefore, our findings suggest that PWS-measured L(d) is an accurate marker of field carcinogenesis. This approach provides a potential prescreening strategy for risk stratification before colonoscopy.
      PMID: 22491589 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Sex-specific prevalence of adenomas and colorectal cancer.

      JAMA 2012 Jan 11

      Authors: Roy HK, Bianchi LK
      PMID: 22235076 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Decreased colorectal cancer and adenoma risk in patients with microscopic colitis.

      Digestive diseases and sciences 2012 Jan

      Authors: Yen EF, Pokhrel B, Bianchi LK, Roy HK, Du H, Patel A, Hall CR, Witt BL
      Microscopic colitis is currently considered to harbor no increased risk for colorectal cancer, based on a few small studies with limited long-term follow-up. Our aim was to identify patients with microscopic colitis, and to compare long-term rates of colorectal cancer or adenoma to a control group of patients without microscopic colitis.
      We reviewed the records of patients diagnosed with microscopic colitis, as identified by a hospital-based pathology database from January 2000 to August 2008. Clinical factors, including history of adenoma or adenocarcinoma, and all colonoscopy findings, were recorded. Age and gender-matched patients without microscopic colitis served as the control in a 1:1 fashion.
      A total of 647 patients (153 male: 494 female) were identified with microscopic colitis (MC). Any history of colorectal cancer was detected in 1.92, 1.81, and 4.17% of patients with collagenous colitis (CC), lymphocytic colitis (LC), and controls, respectively (P = 0.095, P = 0.040, P = 0.015 for CC, LC, and all MC, respectively, comparing to controls). Overall, covariate-adjusted risk (odds ratio) of any history of colorectal cancer and colorectal adenoma in MC patients was 0.34 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.16-0.73, P = 0.006) and 0.52 (95% CI 0.50-0.76, P < 0.0001), respectively. The mean duration of follow-up was 4.63 years, with 147/647 (22.7%) of patients with clinical follow-up >7 years.
      In this case-control study involving a large retrospective cohort, microscopic colitis is negatively associated with the risk for colorectal cancer and adenoma. Further studies are required to determine a temporal relationship between microscopic colitis and the future development of colorectal neoplasia.
      PMID: 21847567 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Moving toward personalization of colorectal cancer screening: Comment on "Influence of race and sex on prevalence and recurrence of colon polyps".

      Archives of internal medicine 2010 Jul 12

      Authors: Roy HK, Bianchi LK
      PMID: 20625019 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
    • Optical measurement of rectal microvasculature as an adjunct to flexible sigmoidosocopy: gender-specific implications.

      Cancer prevention research (Philadelphia, Pa.) 2010 Jul

      Authors: Roy HK, Gomes AJ, Ruderman S, Bianchi LK, Goldberg MJ, Stoyneva V, Rogers JD, Turzhitsky V, Kim Y, Yen E, Jameel M, Bogojevic A, Backman V
      Flexible sigmoidoscopy is a robust, clinically validated, and widely available colorectal cancer screening technique that is currently sanctioned by major guideline organizations. Given that endoscopic visualization is generally limited to the distal third of the colon and women tend to have a proclivity for proximal lesions, the flexible sigmoidoscopy performance is markedly inferior in women than in men. Our group has shown that by using a novel light-scattering approach, we were able to detect an early increase in blood supply (EIBS) in the distal colonic mucosa, which served as a marker of field carcinogenesis and, hence, proximal neoplasia. Therefore, we sought to ascertain whether rectal EIBS would improve flexible sigmoidoscopy, especially in women. A polarization-gated spectroscopy fiber-optic probe was used to assess EIBS in the endoscopically normal rectum (n = 366). When compared with gender-matched neoplasia-free controls, females with advanced proximal neoplasia (n = 10) had a robust (60%; P = 0.002) increase in rectal mucosal oxyhemoglobin content whereas the effect size in males was less marked (33%; P = 0.052). In women, addition of rectal oxyhemoglobin tripled the sensitivity for advanced neoplasia over flexible sigmoidoscopy alone. Indeed, the performance characteristics seemed to be excellent (sensitivity, 100%; specificity, 76.8%; positive predictive value, 32.6%; and negative predictive value, 100%). A variety of nonneoplastic factors were assessed and did not confound the relationship between rectal EIBS and advanced neoplasia. Therefore, using rectal EIBS in combination with flexible sigmoidoscopy mitigated the gender gap and may allow flexible sigmoidoscopy to be considered as a viable colorectal cancer screening test in women.
      PMID: 20570881 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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