The era of one-size-fits-all medicine will eventually be history; after all it is no news that drugs and treatments do not work the same for everyone. For patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a lung cancer that kills approximately 1 million people annually, the treatment currently available is basically the same for all patients, despite the fact that some patients may respond to treatment while others may not. New biological markers and prognostic tools are urgently needed to help doctors decide on the best course of action for each NSCLC patient. It now appears that this reality is not years away, at least for NSCLC treatment.
Currently, NSCL prognosis is made based on patient's general performance and tumor staging. Still, doctors do not know which patients with NSCLC may survive for only 10 months and which for 5 years. Now, a study published ahead of print in the journal Cancer ("CFL1 expression levels as a prognostic and drug resistance marker in nonsmall cell lung cancer", DOI 10.1002/cncr.25125) presents strong evidence that a protein called cofilin (CFL1) may help doctors in determining patient prognosis and in identifying those in need of a more aggressive treatment. The study also indicates that based on this protein, doctors may decide which drugs to use, and which to avoid, when treating NSCL patients. The possibility of doctors knowing before prescription which drugs are likely to work best for each patient represents a great advance in cancer treatment.
The group led by Dr. Fábio Klamt, a researcher at the Department of Biochemistry at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil found that cofilin levels can be used to indicate which patients in the early stages of the disease have a good prognosis and which do not. When studying a large collection of NSCL cancer samples, the researchers found that the biopsies in which high levels of cofilin were found were from patients who had survived for shorter periods than those from patients with lower expression of the protein.
Besides the correlation found between cofilin and patient survival, the group also investigated whether cofilin levels could provide any clues on tumor aggressiveness. According to Dr. Klamt, "cofilin is a protein associated with cell mobility. We know that poor prognosis correlates with the ability of cells to move to generate metastasis. Thus, it seemed only reasonable that cells with lower levels of this protein would be less aggressive while higher levels would provide a more aggressive behavior." Indeed, the group tested six human cell lines of 3 major types of NSCLC and found that the types with higher levels of cofilin presented a greater potential to invade other sites in the body, which indicates a more aggressive behavior. "For patients," explains Dr. Klamt, "this finding indicates that lower levels of cofilin translate into lower chances to develop metastasis, which ultimately leads to a better prognosis."
The group also found that high levels of cofilin correlate with resistance to certain anticancer drugs, especially cisplatin and carboplatin, which have long been used for treating NSCLC. Cisplatin-based chemotherapy is the standard first-line treatment for patients at an early stage and with good performance. Nevertheless, only some will respond to this treatment. Now cofilin levels may be used to distinguish between responders and non-responders. This new finding may have great impact on survival rates, as potential non-responders may benefit from different treatment options that would not be available otherwise.
The study was funded by the Brazilian Science and Technology Ministry/National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (MCT/CNPq), the MCT/CNPq National Institutes for Translational Medicine (INCT-TM), and the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (USA).
A patent concerning CFL1 expression levels as a prognostic biomarker for NSCLC has been recently filed with the Brazilian Patent Office (Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial – INPI) under the number # PI0802917-2
Other researchers working on the study include Mauro Antonio Alves Castro, Felipe Dal-Pizzol, Stephanie Zdanov, Marcio Soares, Carolina Beatriz Müller, Fernanda Martins Lopes, Alfeu Zanotto-Filho, Marilda da Cruz Fernandes, Jose Claudio Fonseca Moreira, and Emily Shacter.
Marcia Triunfol | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > CFL1 > CFL1 expression levels > Carboplatin > Cisplatin > Klamt > MCT/CNPq > NSCL > NSCLC > aggressive behavior > anticancer drugs > biological marker > biological markers > cancer drug > cell lung cancer > early stage > lung cancer > prognostic tools > small cell lung cancer
Correct connections are crucial
26.06.2017 | Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
26.06.2017 | Life Sciences
26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.06.2017 | Information Technology