Welcome to the latest edition of Weekend Wonderings. Take a minute, grab whatever you drink on a Sunday afternoon and let’s carry on.
As mentioned last week, I’m a big believer/supporter of genetic/molecular diagnosis and treatments of cancer. In concert with Charles’ fine article, here is the latest with OSU medical research regarding lung cancer. This is significant, because lung cancer is a brutal disease. To start, lung cancer is the 2nd most prevalent cancer. Interestingly, there are more cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but with a 70% mortality rate, lung cancer patients aren’t as prevalent. Sadly enough.
Researchers at the (OSUCCC – James) have discovered that levels of the gene microRNA-31 (miR-31) predict the spread of the most common form of lung cancer to nearby lymph nodes.
They found that high levels of miR-31 in primary tumor cells predicted lymph node metastasis and poor survival in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Low expression levels were associated with the absence of metastases and excellent survival.
“Our findings suggest that microRNA expression in the primary lung tumor can estimate whether the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes and can help direct patients to the most appropriate treatment,” says principal investigator Tim Lautenschlaeger, MD, a researcher in Radiation Oncology and the OSUCCC – James Experimental Therapeutics Program.
This process gives researchers and treatment providers a much clearer picture of the disease, which determines treatment protocols. Once the treatment protocol is determined, the patient has a better chance of recovery, or at least holding the course.