NEW YORK, Nov. 19 (GenomeWeb News) - Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine reported today using microarray technology to identify a protein biomarker for neuroblastoma.
The finding, announced in a press statement from the American Association of Cancer Research is being presented today at the International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer in Boston.
Jianhua Yang, an assistant professor of pediatrics/hematology and oncology at Baylor reportedly discovered the gene that encodes for this protein in microarray studies of cancer cells. He discovered that this gene was only expressed in neuroblastoma cells, and subsequently discovered that the protein, called neuroblastoma-derived secreted protein, is most active in severe cases of neuroblastoma. He has only tested neuroblastoma cell lines so far, but plans to next check clinical samples, according to the AACR.
This biomarker "may make possible a sensitive means of detecting" tumor cells left over after surgery and chemotherapy in cases of neuroblastoma, Jed Nuchtern, associate professor of pediatrics/surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, said in a statement.
Separately, a team of scientists led by Nick Keene of AstraZeneca announced today that they have successfully crystallized the Aurora Kinase A protein, as well as an inhibitor complex of this protein, the AACR statement said. The Aurora kinases are often overexpressed in colon, breast, pancreatic, and bladder cancers and correlated with poor prognosis for these diseases, and thus could be a key target in cancer areas.