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IMP3 the Novel Biomarker for Metastatic Cancer

tant metastasis of renal cell carcinomas is the primary cause of death for affected patients and the metastatic potential of these tumors is often unpredictable. There is a great need for biomarkers that can accurately distinguish those tumors with a high probability of metastasis. In an effort to identify biomarkers for renal cell carcinoma, Dr. Jiang and colleagues chose to study IMP3, a protein that was already demonstrated to be highly expressed in primary tumors from other cancers, including lung and pancreatic cancers. Examining the tissue samples and clinical information from 406 patients with primary renal cell carcinomas who underwent radical or partial kidney removal at three different medical centers, the scientists found that the expression of IMP3 was significantly increased in the metastatic renal cell carcinomas.

They further demonstrated this elevated expression of IMP3 in primary renal cell carcinomas can predict tumor metastasis. Their data shows that the expression of IMP3 was significantly increased not only in metastastic renal cell carcinomas but most importantly also in patients with primary renal cell cancers who developed metastatic disease as compared with renal cell cancers without metastasis. Remarkably, Jiang and collaborators found that 80 percent of patients with IMP3 positivity in their localized renal cell carcinoma developed metastasis, whereas only 13 percent of patients without expression of IMP3 in their primary tumors developed metastases.

Because patients whose tumors express IMP3 have a high potential to develop metastasis, IMP3 provides a marker that can help identify those patients who might benefit from a different follow-up approach after partial or complete kidney removal. Surgical removal of primary renal cell carcinoma can be a curative treatment when the disease is localized; however because distant metastasis remains the primary cause of therapeutic failure, patients with metastatic disease are typ
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