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Ovarian cancer biomarker discovered

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In a study published recently in Cell Reports, a multi-institutional group of researchers have identified a biomarker which may be able to predict ovarian cancer patient outcomes.

The degree of genetic aberrations characteristic of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) makes identification of the molecular features that drive tumor progression complicated.

In this study, the researchers performed genome-wide RNAi screens and analyzed cell-surface markers on HGSC cell lines to identify genes that are critical to HGSC survival. From this they were able to ascertain that CD151, a protein expressed on the surface of the cells, is important for ovarian cancer cell survival. The team further demonstrated that HGSC patients who had high levels of CD151 tended to have poor outcomes.

Mauricio Medrano from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (Tornoto, Canada) commented: “Ovarian cancer is many diseases. By identifying CD151 and its underlying role in cancer cell survival, we hope to develop a therapy to target it. As a marker for poor prognosis, with further research, there is the potential to develop a clinical screening tool to help personalize cancer treatment for patients.”

The team believes their findings could provide a framework for identifying therapeutic targets for HGSC and that CD151 could be utilized as a biomarker to determine ovarian cancer patient outcomes.

Medrano concluded: “For the scientific community, our study provides a lot of new information about other possible targets, not only CD151, that could be important and can provide new ideas for how to target ovarian cancer.”

Medrano M, Communal L, Brown KR et al Interrogation of functional cell-surface markers identifies CD151 dependency in high-grade serous ovarian cancer Cell Reports doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2017.02.028 (2017); Eureka press release www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-03/uhn-ocr030717.php

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