New prognostic markers for gastric cancer patients

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In standard clinical settings, DNA microarrays are currently unsuitable for routine use. Prognostic classification on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues is required. In this study, we looked for new molecular markers for identifying the prognosis of gastric cancer patients.

This study, performed by a team led by Professor Zhong-Sheng Zhao, is described in a research article to be published on April 7, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

The team identified that syndecan-1, E-cadherin and integrins highly correlated with each other as intracellular adhesion molecular complexes. We suggest the results of co-examination of them can be important indexes for the prognosis of gastric carcinoma. In the view of the authors, to date no clear mechanism has been found to explain the interaction of the three molecules, and no clinical research has been done to verify the findings.

Traditional clinicopathologic factors and several interesting molecules, including cell cycle regulation factors such as p27 or cyclin E, cell adhesion molecules such as E-cadherin, angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor and placenta growth factor, oncogenes such as c-erbB2 and c-myc, and tumor suppressor genes such as p53, have been reported to correlate to the prognosis of gastric cancer patients. Cell adhesion is one of important steps in the multi-step process of gastric cancer pathogenesis.

Further research should collect more samples and emphasize the importance of studying multiple genetic alterations in concert.

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