Metamark finds proteins that predict melanoma spread

Metamark Genetics made FierceBiomarkers' list of five prostate cancer diagnostics to watch, but the Cambridge, MA company recently reported progress in predicting whether early-stage primary melanoma will eventually turn metastatic and deadly. The study, reported in the journal Cancer Cell, identifies proteins that give early stages of skin cancer properties that will enable it to metastasize.

"The findings from this study represent an important milestone in our efforts to predict whether or not an early melanoma lesion will eventually progress to metastatic and deadly disease," Lynda Chin, one of Metamark's scientific founders, said in a release. "Moreover, since these proteins are functionally involved in the tumor progression, they are also potential drug target candidates."

Chin also said that the discovery could also apply to other types of tumors such as breast cancer, where some of these proteins could play a similar role in predicting cancer spread.

"This research is a concrete example of the value provided through the functional identification of molecules that play a direct role in tumor aggressiveness and supports Metamark's founding principle that early stage tumors contain key molecular information about their progression propensity," Peter Blume-Jensen, Metamark's chief scientific officer, said in a release, adding that the next step is to incorporate these markers in to a test that will identify patients with a high risk for cancer progression.

- read the release
- and the abstract in Cancer Cell