By looking at proteins expressed in esophageal cancer cells, scientists have determined new ways to detect and follow the progression of this type of cancer.
Esophageal cancer is increasing rapidly in Western countries and is currently the seventh leading cause of cancer-related death. But current techniques do not allow doctors to clearly tell patients how their disease will progress and how to best treat it.
David M. Lubman and colleagues developed a technique that identifies proteins in the esophagus. They examined the proteins present in patients with a condition called Barrett metaplasia, whose esophagus's internal layers contain abnormal cells and who can later develop esophageal cancer.
The technique allowed the scientists to determine proteins that may be used to determine which patients would develop esophageal cancer. Although the technique needs to be further validated, it may have broad potential for identifying tumors, the researchers concluded.
Article: "Comparative Proteomics Analysis of Barrett Metaplasia and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Using Two-dimensional Liquid Mass Mapping," by Jia Zhao, Andrew C. Chang, Chen Li, Kerby A. Shedden, Dafydd G. Thomas, David E. Misek, Arun Prasad Manoharan, Thomas J. Giordano, David G. Beer and David M. Lubman
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