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 Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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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;http://www.hgm2011.org/fahd_al-mulla.html 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;http://ccr.cancer.gov/staff/staff.asp?profileid=9256 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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