Early lung cancer diagnosis

Patients with lung cancer have elevated levels of a specific protein in their blood that could be used as a biomarker for the disease, say scientists from South Korea.

Je-Yoel Cho from Kyungpook National University and colleagues saw that levels of the beta chain form of haptoglobin – a protein produced by the liver when disease is present – increased in blood samples when lung cancer cells were present.

Among cancer types, lung cancer frequently ranks at the top in both incidence and mortality, according to the World Health Organisation. The discovery of novel lung cancer specific biomarkers – substances in the blood whose levels indicate the presence and extent of the disease -is important for early detection. Current techniques to detect cancer aren’t able to give an early diagnosis.
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Link to journal article
The Haptoglobin chain as a supportive biomarker for human lung cancers
Sung-Min Kang, Hye-Jin Sung, Jung-Mo Ahn, Jae-Yong Park, Soo-Youn Lee, Choon-Sik Park and Je-Yoel Cho
Mol. BioSyst., 2011, DOI: 10.1039/c0mb00242a

High levels of the beta chain form of haptoglobin - a protein produced when disease is present - could be an indicator of lung cancer. (C) Nature

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