Biomarker of Early Lung Cancer Identified

Biomarker of Early Lung Cancer IdentifiedBiomarker of Early Lung Cancer Identified

Researchers have identified a biomarker that detects the most common lung cancer in its earliest stage. Scientists believe that the discovery could help increase survival of lung cancer patients.

According to the US National Cancer Institute, lung cancer kills about 158,000 Americans each year, as many as the next four most deadly cancers combined. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for about 85% of all lung cancers.

“When NSCLC is detected early, patients have a 70% chance of being alive five years later. When it is detected at an advanced stage, five-year survival drops to less than 10%,” said senior investigator Pei-Jung Lu, professor of medicine at National Cheng-Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, reports IANS.

Researchers tested Huntingtin interaction protein-1 (HIP1) as a potential new biomarker. They also investigated its role in lung cancer progression and spread or metastasis, the cause of most lung cancer deaths.

In addition to serving as a biomarker, HIP1 represses the mobility of lung cancer cells in laboratory studies and suppresses metastasis in a mouse model of the cancer, researchers found.

Examining lung tissue from 121 patients they found that those in the earliest stages of the disease expressed more HIP1 than those in the later stages of the disease.

They also found a significant correlation between patients who expressed higher levels of HIP1 and longer survival.

“If we can restore HIP1 levels and functions, we may be able to stop or prevent human lung cancer metastasis in the early stage,” Lu said. The findings appeared in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine.