October 14, 2010
Biomarker Shows Potential For Early Diagnosis Of Lung Cancer
A collaboration between physicians and scientists at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has demonstrated that a biomarker called TCF21 may be used to develop a potential screening test for early-stage lung cancer.
Despite the fact that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, early-stage lung cancer is difficult to diagnose. A number of proposed screening tests, including screening CT scans and serum markers, have not shown any benefit in enhancing patient survival.
"We were very excited to find evidence of TCF21 hypermethylation in 105 non-small-cell lung cancers of different stages and types, which we then validated by looking at another 300 cases using a tissue microarray," said Kristy Richards, PhD,MD, who led the research.
"More than 80 percent of these cancers show some abnormal expression of this biomarker, meaning that it is a promising target for developing a screening tool. This is important to physicians and patients because surgery and other treatments can be much more effective before the cancer has the opportunity to spread."
On the Net: