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Medical News & Perspectives
March 23 2011

Researchers Discover New Biomarker That May Improve Cancer Care Strategies

JAMA. 2011;305(12):1184-1185. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.315

In a preliminary study, researchers identified a novel biomarker that predicts cancer metastasis. If validated in more-rigorous studies, the biomarker could help clinicians improve treatment strategies for patients with certain types of cancer.

Researchers with the National Institutes of Health and the University of Hong Kong in China discovered that an N-terminal truncated protein variant of carboxypeptidase E (CPE-ΔN) induces tumor growth and metastasis. Patients with high levels of this protein were more likely to have their cancer spread, regardless of staging and grading; those with low levels, regardless of staging and grading, were more likely to not have their cancers spread (Lee TK et al. J Clin Invest. doi: 10.1172/JCI40433 [published online ahead of print February 1, 2011]).