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GW researchers discover biomarker for advanced bile duct fibrosis and bile duct cancer
Date:5/29/2012

Thailand, where the parasite is endemic to conduct ultrasound studies to detect advanced bile duct fibrosis and early bile duct cancer and then link the ultrasound results with levels of plasma IL-6. This research was done in collaboration with Drs. Banchob Sripa, Bandit Thinkhamrop, Eimorn Mairiang, and Thewarach Laha from the Khon Kaen University School of Medicine and School of Public Health.

As a result of the identifying this biomarker, the Thai Ministry of Public Health has implemented testing for levels of plasma IL-6 for individuals between 20 and 60 in endemic regions of Isaan Thailand to identify individuals at risk for bile duct cancer. Through this test, it is hoped that bile duct cancer can be detected earlier and at a more treatable stage.

"Typically, bile duct cancer has a late presentation, and so a very high mortality rate. Now that we've identified the IL-6 biomarker, our hope is that earlier detection is possible and earlier treatment saves more lives," said Jeffrey M. Bethony, Ph.D., associate professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS).

In collaboration with Dr. Jason Mulvenna of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane Australia, the researchers are also using quantitative proteomics approaches to identify biomarkers that could be used in an even more sensitive and specific test for the early detection of this infection-associated bile duct cancer. The current discovery was possible through funding from an RO1 grant (R01CA155297-01) from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


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Contact: Anne Banner
abanner@gwu.edu
202-994-2261
George Washington University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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