Thus detection of HAAH in the bloodstream can detect lung cancer before it becomes symptomatic, he says.
Staining of normal versus cancer cells has found that HAAH is expressed in a wide range of carcinomas, including lung cancer, Semenuk reports. In this study, researchers found that 99 percent of 160 patients who represented all stages and various types of lung cancer, had high levels of HAAH protein in their blood, but only nine percent of 93 non-smokers without lung cancer had a positive HAAH blood test.
In a group of 50 smokers not known to have cancer, four patients had levels of HAAH that were higher than the projected ?cut-off line established between cancer development and no disease, Semenuk says. It is not known, however, whether these four people did eventually develop lung cancer, because the samples were provided for study without access to patient records, and further tests may change that cut-off point, he adds.
These results are very encouraging, because it points to those patients who are most likely to need further testing, Semenuk said. Elevated levels of HAAH cannot confirm whether a person has lung cancer, but can be used as a routine screening test for recommending further diagnostic evaluation. That is the way most cancer biomarker tests, like the PSA or CEA, are meant to work, and this may be one of the most effective to date.
|Contact: Greg Lester|
American Association for Cancer Research