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July 22/29, 1998

New Cancer Markers

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JAMA. 1998;280(4):315. doi:10.1001/jama.280.4.315

Physicians treating patients with head and neck cancer may have new clinical options for predicting recurrences and staging treatment.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine report that levels of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and its ligand, transforming growth factor α (TGF-α), can predict clinical outcomes as accurately as the traditional method of cervical lymph node dissection. Their finding is based on examinations of tumor tissue taken from 91 patients with head and neck cancer, which they compared with previous studies of patients without the disease. The research team used monoclonal antibodies and computerized image analysis to measure levels of EGFR and TGF-α.

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