Biomarker Discovery Bodes Well For Better Cancer Diagnostics

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Cancer Diagnostics

While new findings from Ohio State University scientists suggest a genetic marker that could help distinguish between chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer and gauge who will do well with cancer treatment, a pharmacologist at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson in Philadelphia sees the discovery as much more.

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The researchers have identified "a new level of biological regulation" and potentially an improved way to profile tumors, says Scott Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, who co-wrote an editorial about the study appearing May 2, 2007 in the journal JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"The findings are significant because they seem to represent a large part of the machinery in the cell that regulates the processing of information from chromosome and gene to the protein machinery that makes the cell run," says Dr. Waldman. "No one knew about this intermediate level of regulation in every cell in the body. It's part of the cell's normal machinery that regulates in part how cells become specialized."

The Ohio State team found that preliminary evidence suggesting that the expression pattern of microRNA (miRNAs)

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