In the Journal of Clinical Pathology, researchers from China's Shandong University write that high expression and cytomembrane localization of VEGFR-1 in hepatocellular carcinoma may be a prognostic marker for the disease. Using immunofluorescence and western blotting, the researchers examined VEGFR-1 expression and localization in 135 hepatocellular carcinoma patients and found that VEGFR-1 is more highly expressed in invasive HCC. Further, they found that patients with high VEGFR-1 levels had worse recurrence-free and overall survival rates. "Our results strongly suggest that VEGFR-1 expression is associated with HCC invasion and recurrence as a powerful and independent prognostic marker in HCC patients," the researchers write. They note, however, that most of the patients in the study had hepatitis B infections and the prognostic value of VEGFR-1 in patients with hepatitis B is unknown.
Cortisol may be a biomarker for oral cancer, Brazilian researchers report in the Journal of Clinical Pathology. They compared the salivary and plasma cortisol levels of 34 patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma to 17 patients with oral leukoplakia, 17 smokers and/or drinkers, and 25 healthy controls. They found that cortisol levels were significantly higher in oral squamous cell carcinoma than any other group, and that salivary, but not plasma, levels were higher still in male patients as compared to female patients. "This is the first evidence that oral and oropharyngeal SCC patients exhibit significant changes in the morning secretion of cortisol compared with healthy controls, smokers and/or drinkers and patients with a precursor lesion of oral cancer, and that in these patients increased cortisol levels are associated with advanced disease," the researchers add.