New biomarkers for predicting the spread of colon cancer

January 13, 2010
With colon cancer a leading cause of cancer death, scientists have discovered two blood proteins that may help predict whether the disease will spread. Credit: Wikimedia Commons, American Cancer Society.

Scientists in China are reporting discovery of two proteins present in the blood, of people with colon cancer that may serve as the potential biomarkers for accurately predicting whether the disease will spread. Their study is in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research.

Maode Lai and colleagues note that in 2008, 150,000 new cases of colon cancer and over 50,000 deaths from the disease occurred in the United States alone. Surgery is the main method of treating the disease. However, half of colon cancer patients undergoing surgery develop a recurrence of the disease within 5 years due to its spread, or metastasis, to other parts of the body. The spread of colon cancer can be difficult to detect and there are currently no reliable chemical markers in the body for predicting its spread, the scientists say.

In an effort to identify useful biomarkers for tracking the spread of colon cancer, the scientists compared proteins produced by primary, or original, tumor cells to those of metastasized cells came from a single individual with colon cancer. They identified two proteins that occurred at significantly higher levels in the metastatic cells than in the primary cancer cells. The two proteins could serve as potential biomarkers in a blood test for predicting the spread of , allowing earlier intervention and treatment, the scientists say.

Explore further: Scientists discover new gene responsible for spread of cancer

More information: "Identification of serum biomarkers for colorectal cancer metastasis using a differential secretome approach",

Related Stories

Scientists discover new gene responsible for spread of cancer

March 29, 2006

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have identified a new gene that causes the spread of cancer. Professor Philip Rudland, Dr Guozheng Wang and Dr Roger Barraclough from the University’s Cancer and Polio Research ...

Novel marker of colon cancer

October 23, 2008

Colon cancer ranks second of all gastrointestinal malignant tumors, it is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Until now, several molecules have been reported to play an important role in gastroenterological ...

Surgery not necessary for most late-stage colorectal cancers

May 31, 2009

A new study shows that a large majority of patients who present with advanced colorectal cancer that has spread to other organs (stage IV) don't require immediate surgery to remove the primary tumor in the colon. Researchers ...

Heart drugs show promise for fighting colon cancer

December 16, 2009

Scientists in Sweden are reporting for the first time that a group of drugs used to treat heart failure shows promise for fighting colon cancer. The study is in ACS' Journal of Natural Products. Colon cancer is the third ...

Recommended for you

A new form of real gold, almost as light as air

November 25, 2015

Researchers at ETH Zurich have created a new type of foam made of real gold. It is the lightest form ever produced of the precious metal: a thousand times lighter than its conventional form and yet it is nearly impossible ...

Getting under the skin of a medieval mystery

November 23, 2015

A simple PVC eraser has helped an international team of scientists led by bioarchaeologists at the University of York to resolve the mystery surrounding the tissue-thin parchment used by medieval scribes to produce the first ...

Moonlighting molecules: Finding new uses for old enzymes

November 27, 2015

A collaboration between the University of Cambridge and MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, has led researchers to identify a potentially significant new application for a well-known ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.