Tracking Down Proteins Linked to Lung Cancer

New technique detects possible culprits in disease

MONDAY, April 28, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A new high-tech method that identifies two proteins involved in lung cancer has been developed by Duke University Medical Center researchers.

The technique uses mass spectrometry to detect specific proteins that are over-expressed in cancer cells, blood, urine or any substance that contains proteins.

Using this new method, the Duke researchers identified two proteins -- MIF and CyP-A -- whose levels are elevated in lung cancer cells but not in normal cells.

The study appears in a recent issue of Cancer Research.

The ability to identify these proteins may help lead to development of new drugs aimed at blocking the effects of the proteins. The technology may also help scientists develop a simple blood test using MIF and CyP-A as molecular markers to diagnose lung cancer without having to perform invasive biopsies.

"Our technique is a new paradigm for identifying protein targets in cancer, because we are zeroing in on the protein itself rather than searching for a defective gene and then hunting down its relevant proteins," study author Dr. Edward Platz says in a news release.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about lung cancer.

SOURCE: Duke University Medical Center, news release, April 2003
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