New metastasis marker found

A new molecular predictor of cancer-spread adds to a growing list of biomarkers that could improve treatment

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef (an unusual nickname for Jennifer) got her master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses. After four years of diving off the Gulf...

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Jan 31, 2011
A new molecular marker can predict the likelihood that two types of cancer -- a liver cancer and rare neuroendocrine tumors -- will spread to other tissues in the body, a process known as metastasis and a major cause of death in cancer patients.
Micrograph of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of primary liver cancer
Image: Wikimedia commons, Nephron
"This is a really nice paper," said molecular pathologist linkurl:Fahd Al-Mulla; of Kuwait University, who was not involved in the study. "This is the first time that somebody has discovered a prognostic marker" for the spread of these types of cancer. "If you can identify a patient in the early stages who is at high risk for progression of disease, one can modify their therapy," linkurl:Stephen Hewitt; of the National Cancer Institute, who participated in the research, said at a National Institutes of Health press conference last week. The results,...
Journal of Clinical Investigation

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