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Lung cancer is one of the deadliest cancers in men and women worldwide. The most prevalent form of lung cancer is non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). NSCLC tumors are heterogeneous which make them difficult to treat. More than half of NSCLC patients die after developing metastases. A new protein has been identified on tumor-derived extracellular vesicles with the purpose to indicate if the lung cancer is likely to metastasize, as per the latest research published in Science Advances on March 11.
The team of researchers has identified a protein that could be used as a biomarker to develop a test to catch such lung cancers at an early stage when they are more treatable. The study author was Tony Hu, chair in biotechnology innovation at Tulane University School of Medicine. Most of the patients who are diagnosed with NSCLC do not receive a diagnosis until their primary tumor has metastasized to other parts of the body. Also, patients with non-metastatic NSCLC tumors often have different treatment outcomes.
“The goal of any cancer diagnosis and treatment is to catch it early,” said Tony Hu, in a statement. “This information could help diagnose patients who are at high risk for having their cancer metastasize, and treatment could be tailored to account for that. Not all patients have the same type of tumor, and if you can target therapy to address a particular tumor, you can improve outcomes,” he added.
These researchers have identified a protein that was highly expressed on extracellular vesicles of metastatic NSCLC cells. This could help in predicting which NSCLC patients have increased risk of metastasis. The next goal of the team is to incorporate the biomarker profiling with well-developed nanoplasmonic detection assay.
The research publishes in Science Advances.
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