Nav: Home

New biomarkers for colorectal cancer

January 11, 2018

Researchers from the University of Luxembourg found a new biomarker for colorectal cancer (CRC) that might improve therapy and survival rates of patients. Biomarkers are measurable biological indicators for a specific disease, such as changes in the amounts of certain proteins that occur in combination with certain illnesses. Such biomarkers help physicians to diagnose a condition, identify the disease stage, and determine a patient's risk for recurrence of the disease. This supports the doctor in choosing the best-fitting treatment plan.

For colorectal cancer (CRC), early detection and classification is especially important, as, for example, not all Stage II patients benefit from chemotherapy. Especially identifying patients at risk for recurrence during the early course of the disease might help clinicians. However, there are still too few prognostic markers for colorectal cancer known so that too many patients still suffer needlessly from side effects of the chemotherapy without having real benefits.

In a study supported by the Fondation Cancer and the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), an interdisciplinary team composed of experimental and computational scientists from the Molecular Disease Mechanisms (MDM) group at the Life Sciences Research Unit of the University of Luxembourg has recently discovered a new promising biomarker for colorectal cancer. Especially in early stages, such markers might allow to classify patients into "high" and "low" risk group. Such a classification may help oncologists choosing the adequate treatment regimens for a given patient. "The strength of the study lies in the concerted effort and the interdisciplinary approaches, involving bioinformatics and state-of-the-art experimental techniques. Especially the financial support from the Fondation Cancer has been crucial for the successful completion of our biomarker projects," explains Dr. Elisabeth Letellier, principal investigator in the MDM group.

Using a previously established meta-analysis of publicly available gene expression data, the research team identified the protein family "Myosin" and especially the protein "MYO5B" as potential prognostic marker in the context of CRC. Members of this family are recognised to play a major role in cellular trafficking and polarisation of cells and have recently been reported to be closely associated with several types of cancer.

The meta-analysis as well as an independent patient cohort study revealed that the concentration of "MYO5B" decreases as the disease progresses. CRC patients with low "MYO5B" expression had significantly lower chances of disease- and metastasis-free survival. Altogether, the data collected from the Molecular Disease Mechanisms (MDM) group identify MYO5B as a powerful prognostic biomarker in CRC, especially in early stages (stages I and II), which might help stratifying patients with stage II for adjuvant chemotherapy.

LSRU-team identifies new prognostic biomarkers for CRC

"Together with our partners, we have been able to set up a high-quality tissue collection from colon cancer patients here in Luxembourg. Only the close collaboration with the Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg (IBBL), the Laboratoire National de Santé (LNS), the Centre d'Investigation et d'Épidémiologie Clinique (CIEC) and local hospitals, primarily the Centre Hospitalier Emile Mayrisch (CHEM), has allowed us to establish these important foundations for further colon cancer projects," says Prof. Dr. Serge Haan, Head of the MDM group.

In this research project, the MDM group has analysed the value of a biomarker in a Luxembourgish colorectal cancer (CRC) collection. Indeed, they have established a CRC collection that includes tissue samples from patients. This collection is of high value as it allows, for example, the identification of new prognostic biomarkers for CRC as highlighted in the present project.
-end-


University of Luxembourg

Related Cancer Articles:

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.
More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.
New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.
American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.
Oncotarget: Cancer pioneer employs physics to approach cancer in last research article
In the cover article of Tuesday's issue of Oncotarget, James Frost, MD, PhD, Kenneth Pienta, MD, and the late Donald Coffey, Ph.D., use a theory of physical and biophysical symmetry to derive a new conceptualization of cancer.
Health indicators for newborns of breast cancer survivors may vary by cancer type
In a study published in the International Journal of Cancer, researchers from the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed health indicators for children born to young breast cancer survivors in North Carolina.
Few women with history of breast cancer and ovarian cancer take a recommended genetic test
More than 80 percent of women living with a history of breast or ovarian cancer at high-risk of having a gene mutation have never taken the test that can detect it.
Radiotherapy for invasive breast cancer increases the risk of second primary lung cancer
East Asian female breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy have a higher risk of developing second primary lung cancer.
More Cancer News and Cancer Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.