|Predicting Liver Cancer Spread and Survival|
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute have discovered new biomarkers for predicting how liver cancer spreads and whether liver cancer patients will have shorter or longer survival.
Akinso: Researchers at the National Cancer Institute have discovered new biomarkers for predicting how liver cancer spreads and whether liver cancer patients will have shorter or longer survival. The biomarkers, known as microRNAs, have been implicated in various aspects of human disease, including liver cancer. Since microRNAs can effectively regulate the activity of multiple cancer-related genes and pathways they are prime candidates for spotting out the events that lead to the spread of cancer which is known as metastasis. Dr. Anuradha Budhu, lead author of the study, discusses the findings.
Budhu: A lot of these microRNAs are associated with patient survival, and so patients who have this particular profile of microRNAs that are associated with metastasis do have a worse survival than patients without that particular expression of those genes and they have about a twofold higher risk of death than patients who don't have that signature.
Akinso: Dr. Budhu said the findings are important because it shows that microRNAs play a significant role in liver metastasis. She added that since microRNAs can affect multiple genes, including those related to cancer, they are also promising new targets for therapeutic approaches to liver cancer treatment. This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.