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SIBLING proteins may predict oral cancer
Date:2/23/2010

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Treatment has been stymied up to this point because of clinicians' inability to predict which lesions will become cancerous. Surgery is standard for oral cancer, but treatment methods vary for precancerous lesions.

"When we treat these lesions now, there's an implied risk of under- or over-treating patients," Dr. Ogbureke said. "For example, should the entire lesion be surgically removed before we know its potential to become cancer, or should we wait and see if it becomes cancer before intervening?"

Further complicating the matter is that the severity of dysplasia, or abnormal cell growth, in a lesion can be totally unrelated to cancer risk. Some mild dysplasias can turn cancerous quickly while certain severe dysplasias can remain harmless indefinitely. The protein findings, which help eliminate the guesswork in such cases, "are fundamental," Dr. Ogbureke said. "If we're able to recognize these lesions early and biopsy them to determine their SIBLING profile, then oral cancer could be preventable and treatable very early."

Dr. Ogbureke's next step is to design a multi-center study that incorporates oral cancer risk factors, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, to further investigate their relationship with SIBLING protein expression.


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Contact: Paula Hinely
phinely@mcg.edu
706-721-3646
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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SIBLING proteins may predict oral cancer
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