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Biomarker shows potential for early diagnosis of lung cancer

Date:
October 15, 2010
Source:
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Summary:
Researchers have demonstrated that a biomarker called TCF21 may be used to develop a potential screening test for early-stage 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.

TCF21 is a transcription factor -- a protein that binds to DNA, allowing it to reproduce itself accurately, allowing cells to multiply and replace themselves in a consistent manner. When these transcription factors don't work properly (through a process called hypermethylation), cellular growth mechanisms can be disrupted, leading to cancer.

"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."

The research results were published in the journal Cancer.

Research team members from UNC Lineberger include D. Neil Hayes, MD, MPH. Researchers at M.D. Anderson include corresponding author Ralf Krahe, PhD, Ignacio Wistuba, MD, Guosheng Yin, PhD, Keith Baggerly, PhD, Charmaine Wilson, MD, Lisa Bachinski PhD, Jennifer Churchill, BS, Wenli Dong, PhD, Menghong Sun, PhD, and Baili Zhang, MS.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kristy L. Richards, Baili Zhang, Menghong Sun, Wenli Dong, Jennifer Churchill, Linda L. Bachinski, Charmaine D. Wilson, Keith A. Baggerly, Guosheng Yin, D. Neil Hayes, Ignacio I. Wistuba, Ralf Krahe. Methylation of the candidate biomarker TCF21 is very frequent across a spectrum of early-stage nonsmall cell lung cancers. Cancer, 2010; DOI: 10.1002/cncr.25472

Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Biomarker shows potential for early diagnosis of lung cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014113832.htm>.
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. (2010, October 15). Biomarker shows potential for early diagnosis of lung cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014113832.htm
University of North Carolina School of Medicine. "Biomarker shows potential for early diagnosis of lung cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101014113832.htm (accessed April 25, 2014).

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