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Marker Predicts Renal Cancer Metastasis and Survival

Testing at diagnosis could identify patients who need early systemic treatment

THURSDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a marker in renal cell carcinomas that can predict tumor metastasis and patient outcome, according to a study published in the July issue of The Lancet Oncology.

Zhong Jiang, M.D., of the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., and colleagues examined the expression of IMP3, an oncofetal RNA-binding protein, in 501 primary and metastatic renal-cell tumors by western blot, immunohistochemistry and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and studied survival in 371 patients with primary tumors.

The researchers found that IMP3 expression was much higher both in metastatic tumors and primary tumors that had a high likelihood of becoming metastatic. When they compared IMP3-positive patients with IMP3-negative patients, they found that positive status was associated with significantly lower five-year metastasis-free survival (44 percent versus 98 percent) and a significantly lower five-year survival (32 percent versus 89 percent for those with stage I tumors; 41 percent versus 88 percent for those with stage II tumors, and 14 percent versus 58 percent for those with stage III tumors).

"IMP3 is an independent prognostic marker that can be used at initial diagnosis of renal-cell carcinoma to identify patients who have a high potential to develop metastasis and who might benefit from early systemic treatment," the authors conclude.

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