Research demonstrates prognostic significance of biomarker for non-small cell lung carcinomas

Patterns of a novel cancer biomarker in non-small lung carcinomas (NSCLC) may be used to help predict patient outcome, according to a study published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (2010;5(5):649-57).

In a study conducted to help clarify expression patterns of CD24, a biomarker for NSCLC, a team of researchers, led by Hyun Ju Lee, evaluated CD24 expression in 267 consecutive cases of NSCLC. The team analyzed the immunohistochemistry that correlated with clinicopathological parameters.

The findings revealed that high expression of CD24 was a negative independent prognostic factor for progression-free and cancer-specific survival in NSCLC. Specifically, CD24-high expression was demonstrated in 33% (87 of 267) of the NSCLC cases. In addition, patients with CD24-higg tumors also tended to have a higher risk of disease progression and cancer-related death.

According to background information provided in the paper, prior to the revision of the TNM cancer staging system, the most important conventional prognostic factor for patient survival was tumor stage at the time of diagnosis, involvement of regional lymph nodes and metastatic spread to distant organs. However the revised guidelines found age, gender, and performance status (PS), in addition to stage, all to be prognostic factors for survival.

“Biomarkers that are over-expressed during cancer progression are of special interest because they may not only be used to predict patient outcome but also serve as potential targets in cancer therapy,” Dr. Lee concluded.

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