NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Compugen today stated that it has discovered and tested a potential blood-based small cell lung cancer biomarker that is it has named CGEN-438.
The proposed biomarker is a splice variant of the delta-like protein 3 precursor, DLL3. Previous observations suggest that DLL3 mutations and over-expression are associated with cancer. But CGEN-438 shares no sequence similarity to the membrane protein DLL3. And, unlike DLL3, CGEN-438 is reportedly secreted into the bloodstream.
CGEN-438 is one of a group of possible cancer and cardiovascular biomarkers predicted by Compugen’s immunoassay computational discovery platform. The company has developed a test to detect CGEN-438 and has filed a patent application covering the prospective biomarker.
To test the validity of CGEN-438 as a biomarker, Compugen scientists measured the serum levels of CGEN-438 in 40 lung cancer patients and healthy controls. They reportedly found that serum CGEN-438 levels were higher in small cell lung cancer patients than in control individuals. They noted that CGEN-438 expression also appears to be higher in some of those with non-small cell lung cancer.
Based on these results, Compugen said CGEN-438 may ultimately become a useful biomarker for diagnosing small-cell lung cancer and for helping to diagnose non-small cell lung cancer in conjunction with other tests.