Researchers may have found a biomarker for lung cancer، which could soon enable healthcare professionals to detect the disease while it is still in stage 1. Lung cancer is the second most prevalent form of cancer in men and women and the top cancer killer among both sexes.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimate that in 2018، 154،050 people in the United States will have died from the disease.
The World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that 1.69 million deaths are brought about by lung cancer worldwide.
The main reason behind why lung cancer has such a high mortality rate is that it is often caught at an advanced stage. Medics Today said.
In fact، around three quarters of people with lung cancer already experience symptoms when they present themselves for a checkup، and، by that point، cancer has usually already spread to other parts of the lungs or elsewhere in the body.
"The identification of patients at an early stage of cancer when it can be treated surgically،" states Yuichi Sato، of the Department of Molecular Diagnostics at the Kitasato University School of Allied Health Sciences in Kanagawa، Japan، "is extremely important to improve prognosis."
"We need better biomarkers for early diagnosis،" adds Sato، who led a new study that identified a protein that may help to diagnose lung cancer while it is still in stage 1.
According to the ACS، the survival rate for individuals whose lung cancer is diagnosed at stage 1 ranges between 68 and 92 percent.
The new protein is called cytoskeleton-associated protein 4 (CKAP4)، and its potential as a lung cancer biomarker is detailed in The American Journal of Pathology.
CKAP4 is better than current biomarkers To develop a marker for cancer، Sato and colleagues developed a so-called monoclonal antibody — that is، a type of antibody used to fight cancer in immunotherapy.
Monoclonal antibodies work by recognizing certain proteins on cells. In this study، the researchers used the antibody called KU-Lu-1 to see whether or not it would recognize cancer proteins in the blood of 271 people with lung cancer.
They also studied the behavior of KU-Lu-1 in the blood of 100 healthy people. The antibody detected CKAP4 in lung cancer tissue and tumor cells.
Sato and team explain the significance of their findings، emphasizing the place of CKAP4 among existing biomarkers for lung cancer.
Study co-author Ryo Nagashio — also affiliated with the Kitasato University School of Allied Health Sciences — explains that the four main biomarkers currently used to detect lung cancer are:
carcinoma embryonic antigen (CEA) sialyl Lewis X antigen squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCCA) cytokeratin fragment (CYFRA) 21-1 But none of these are sensitive enough to detect cancer in its first stages، he says. CEA، CYFRA، and SCCA are known to have the following sensitivities، respectively: 30–52 percent، 17–82 percent، and 24–39 percent.