Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have discovered
a genetic marker that could aid in the early diagnosis and effective treatment
of esophageal cancer, one of the most aggressive and deadly cancers.
In their analyses of tumor tissue DNA from patients with two types of
esophageal cancer, the researchers found that the APC
gene, involved in suppressing abnormal cell growth, was deactivated in 92%
of patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma and in 50% of patients with squamous
cell carcinoma of the esophagus. The deactivated APC
gene also was found in tissues from 40% of patients with Barrett esophagus,
a precancerous condition associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The altered gene was not found in normal esophageal tissues.
New Cancer Marker. JAMA. 2000;284(24):3117. doi:10.1001/jama.284.24.3117