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Disease Area Diagnostics & prognostics, Cancer

Markers for Prognostic Progress

At a Glance

  • Lung cancer is the most fatal cancer, causing nearly one-fifth of all cancer deaths worldwide
  • To improve survival, it’s vital to diagnose and treat lung cancer early, so we need better diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers
  • A combination of markers, including HOXA9 promoter methylation and blood vessel invasion, may assist with prognosis of early-stage lung cancer
  • Ideally, these two biomarkers could be used in combination with a range of others to yield the most detailed picture possible of an individual’s disease

Lung cancer remains the top killer worldwide among cancers, causing nearly one-fifth of all cancer deaths worldwide (1). But not every patient with lung cancer faces the same fate; those diagnosed early have a good prognosis, with one-year net survival rates for stage I cancers at 83 percent (compared with only 17 percent for those diagnosed at stage IV). It’s clear that early diagnosis confers a strong survival benefit – and biomarker analyses that yield prognostic and treatment decision information only compounds this advantage.

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About the Author

Ana Robles

Ana Robles is an Associate Scientist at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, USA. Her research focuses on omics-based identification and functional characterization of clinically informative biomarkers of lung cancer.

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