Researchers at South Korean genomics company GenoMine have found a series of three biomarkers that could help doctors catch malignant kidney cancer earlier in patients.
Kidney cancer is on the rise in the U.S. and can be difficult to detect in the early stages because there may be no signs of the disease, or symptoms can be caused by other conditions.
Dr. Nam Hoon Cho of the department of pathology at Yonsei University Health System in Seoul, Korea, along with colleagues from GenoMine, developed a new immunoassay to measure the levels of three potential biomarkers for kidney cancer: nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT), L-plastin (LCP1) and nonmetastatic cells 1 protein (NM23A).
To test the validity of the markers, the researchers used the assay to measure concentrations of NNMT, LCP1 and NM23A in 189 plasma samples from 102 healthy control patients or those with benign tumors and 87 patients with kidney cancer.
The researchers found that all three biomarkers were prominent in patients with kidney cancer. For example, the median level of NNMT concentration in healthy patients was 68 pg/mL compared with 420 pg/mL in those with kidney cancer.
In a second test, researchers blind-tested additional plasma samples in 73 healthy patients and 27 patients with kidney cancer. All of the samples from patients with kidney cancer and about 92% of the samples from the healthy patients were identified correctly.
The company is actively seeking FDA approval for the immunoassay.
- here's the press release