Cancer experts ID biomarker for early-stage lung cancer

Lung cancer has always been tough to detect at an early stage, proving an elusive foe for a number of proposed screening tests. But a group of cancer experts at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center say that a protein that binds to DNA could prove to be the biomarker needed to make early detection--and swift treatment--into a reality.

The protein is dubbed TCF21, a transcription factor that goes awry through hypermethelation, spurring the cancer. "We were very excited to find evidence of TCF21 hypermethylation in 105 non-small-cell lung cancers of different stages and types, which we then validated by looking at another 300 cases using a tissue microarray," said Kristy Richards, who led the research.

"More than 80 percent of these cancers show some abnormal expression of this biomarker, meaning that it is a promising target for developing a screening tool. This is important to physicians and patients because surgery and other treatments can be much more effective before the cancer has the opportunity to spread."

- here's the story from Medical News Today