VU University Medical Center's Jasmijn Hubers and her colleagues report in the Journal of Clinical Pathology that collecting sputum over a number of days from patients increases the sensitivity of detecting lung cancer. The researchers had 53 lung cancer patients and 47 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients collect sputum samples at home over the course of nine days. The researchers then analyzed those samples using quantitative methylation-specific PCR to detect whether the gene promoters for RASSF1A, APC, and CYGB were hypermethylated. "Sensitivity of gene promoter hypermethylation analysis in sputum for lung cancer increases when sputum is sampled during more than three consecutive days," Hubers et al. write.
Also in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, researchers from the Affiliated Hospital of Nantong University in Jiangsu Province, China, say that elevated FOXP1 expression may be a prognostic marker for hepatocellular carcinoma. Using real-time PCR, the researchers analyzed FOXP1 expression in fresh-frozen hepatocellular carcinoma samples and controls. "High FOXP1 expression was correlated significantly with large tumor diameter, high serum AFP, and later TNM stage in HCC patients," they report. "We found that FOXP1 expression was higher in liver cancer cells than in normal hepatic cells, indicating that FOXP1 could play an oncogene role in HCC. Furthermore, high FOXP1 expression along with regional lymph node metastasis was identified to be an independent predictive factor for poor outcome in HCC."