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IMP3 the Novel Biomarker for Metastatic Cancer

Renal cell carcinoma is a very common cancer which has very poor prognosis. This is mainly due to the fact that it has the ability to spread in the body//. The spread of cancer cells in the body is called Tumor metastasis. This proves to be very fatal in case of cancer patients as it blocks vital organs, blood vessels and results in early death.

Hence early detection and treatment of cancer patients improves their survival rate. But good news awaits them as researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center have identified the protein IMP3 as a novel biomarker that is a powerful new tool in the prediction of metastasis and the subsequent prognosis of patients with renal cell carcinoma.

Accounting for more than 80 percent of malignant kidney tumors, renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of kidney cancer. In 2005, there were an estimated 36,160 new cases of kidney cancer in the United States and more than 12,000 people would die from this disease, with most fatalities caused by the metastasis, or spread, of the cancer from the kidney to other places in the body.

Historically, it has been difficult to predict the potential of these tumors for mestastasis and consequently, treatment methods have been limited. In ‘Analysis of RNA-binding protein IMP3 to predict metastasis and prognosis of renal-cell carcinomas, a retrospective study,’ published June 14 in an advance online publication of The Lancet Oncology, University of Massachusetts Medical School Associate Professor of Pathology Zhong Jiang, MD, and collaborators from UMass Memorial Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and City of Hope National Medical Center, demonstrate that IMP3 is an excellent independent prognostic marker that can be used at the time of initial diagnosis of RCC to identify a group of patients with a high potential to develop metastasis and who might benefit from early systemic therapy.

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