New Biomarker For Uterine Cancer Discovered

Researchers have discovered a new biomarker which makes it possible to identify women with uterine cancer who have a high risk of recurrence. The findings were recently published in the journal Gynecologic Oncology.
Endometrial cancer of the uterus is the most common form of gynecologic cancer in Europe and North America. The treatment primarily consists of removing the uterus and in some cases offering chemotherapy if the risk of recurrence is deemed high.
The current study looks at the amount of protein ASRGL1 present in the tumour cells in uterine cancer. Based on the amount of ASRGL1 the researchers were able to separate women with a negative prognosis and high risk of recurrence from the patients who fared better after their operation.
The protein ASRGL1 is an enzyme that normally exists in healthy cells of the uterus. The current study shows that patients who had entierly or partially lost ASRGL1 in the tumour cells had a much higher risk of the cancer recurring and dying from the disease, while patients with sustained high levels of ASRGL1 had a much lower risk of recurrence. The study also shows that ASRGL1 is an independent prognostic factor, even after compensating for other risk factors such as tumour stage and tumour grade.
Further studies are now being planned to investigate whether ASRGL1 also can be used for diagnosing tissue biopsies taken before the operation, to identify patients in need of more extensive surgery.
Based on material originally posted by Uppsala University.