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Prognostic Marker for Gastric Cancer

Marker may indicate which early stage patients might benefit from chemotherapy

August 6, 2010 | Melissa Marino

While chemotherapy is recommended for advanced gastric cancer, there are no clear criteria for adjuvant chemotherapy in early stage gastric cancer. To identify potential biomarkers that could help select candidates for chemotherapy, James Goldenring, M.D., Ph.D, Ki Taek Nam, DVM, Ph.D., and colleagues at Seoul National University, examined gene expression in lesions from patients with gastric cancer and its precursor lesions, IM (intestinal metaplasia) and SPEM (spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia).

They found 858 genes with differential expression between normal and metaplastic cells and several new biomarker candidates for IM and SPEM. Expression of CDH17 – a member of the cadherin family of cell adhesion molecules – was increased 156-fold in IM and nearly 8-fold in SPEM compared to normal cells. Further analysis showed that patients with stage I cancers expressing CDH17 had a significantly increased 5-year survival.

Their results reported in the July issue of Gastroenterology suggest that CDH17 is an independent prognostic factor in patients with stage I disease and could be a useful biomarker for determining which early stage patients might benefit from chemotherapy.

For other research highlights from Vanderbilt University Medical Center laboratories, see ‘Aliquots‘ in the VUMC Reporter.