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New research from Rhode Island Hospital may help predict outcomes for stomach cancer patients
Date:7/16/2008

h and is more likely to spread) or "intestinal" (resembling the cells normally found only in the small or large intestines). Stomach cancers of both types are often triggered by a chronic infection brought on by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a common bacterium that causes stomach inflammation and ulcers. Surgery is the most common treatment for stomach cancer and can include partial or full removal of the stomach. The five-year relative survival rate of patients with stomach cancer is 24 percent.

Moss, an expert on H.pylori, and colleagues initially set out to learn more about what the bacterium does to normal stomach cells. They focused on GKN1 and GKN2 because these proteins are also suppressed by stomach infections caused by H. pylori.

After looking at tissue samples from more than 150 stomach cancer patients who underwent surgery, the researchers discovered a near total suppression of GKN1 and GKN2 in the majority of patients. This was particularly evident in those patients with the diffuse variant of stomach cancer. More than three-quarters of these patients had extremely low levels of GKN1 and 85 percent had nearly nonexistent levels of GKN2.

Furthermore, in those patients with the intestinal variant of stomach cancer, very low levels of GKN 1 or GKN 2 at the time of surgery were associated with a significantly worse outcome. The median survival was about two years in these patients compared to a survival of more than 10 years for patients with normal levels of GKN1 or GKN2.

Researchers do not yet know the exact function of GKN1 and GKN2. They say further studies are needed to demonstrate the mechanisms responsible for the loss of GKN1 and GKN2 in this patient popoulation as well as the clinical biomarker potential of these two proteins.

The study included tissue samples from 155 patients with stomach cancer (81 men and 74 women) who underwent surgery at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miri
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Contact: Jessica Collins Grimes
jgrimes2@lifespan.org
401-432-1328
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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