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Biomarker predicts disease recurrence in colorectal cancer
Date:2/17/2009

compared to histopathology.

The majority of patients 87.5 percent had lymph nodes that were positive for GUCY2C. Among those patients, 20.9 percent developed recurrent disease. By comparison, only 6.3 percent of the patients whose lymph nodes were negative for GUCY2C developed recurrent disease.

The patients were followed for a median of 24 months for disease recurrence or death. Indeed, patients who expressed GUCY2C had a shorter time to recurrence and a shorter disease-free survival. The prognostic value of the marker persisted even after a multivariate analysis that took other known prognostic factors into account.

According to Dr. Waldman, 20 to 30 percent of patients diagnosed with node-negative colorectal cancer experience disease recurrence within five years. This is approximately the same rate of recurrence as that for some categories of patients diagnosed with node-positive disease. These observations suggest that there are occult metastases in the lymph nodes of node-negative patients at the time of diagnosis. GUCY2C specifically identifies these occult metastases that indicate risk for recurrent disease.

"Beyond predicting disease recurrence, detecting this biomarker could be useful for identifying patients who might benefit from treatment with adjuvant chemotherapy, which is specifically given to patients with node-positive disease," Dr. Waldman said.


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Contact: Emily Shafer
emily.shafer@jefferson.edu
215-955-6300
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

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