A research team in China has identified two proteins present in the blood that may serve as potential bio-markers in people with colon cancer, for accurately predicting whether the disease will spread.
Surgery is the main method of treating the disease. However, half of colon cancer patients undergoing surgery develop a recurrence of the disease within five years due to its spread, or metastasis, to other parts of the body.
The spread of colon cancer can be difficult to detect and there are currently no reliable chemical markers in the body for predicting its spread, the scientists say.
In an effort to identify useful bio-markers for tracking the spread of colon cancer, Maode Lai and colleagues compared proteins produced by primary, or original, tumor cells to those of metastasized cells came from a single individual with colon cancer.
They identified two proteins that occurred at significantly higher levels in the metastatic cells than in the primary cancer cells.
According to the researchers, the two proteins could serve as potential bio-markers in a blood test for predicting the spread of colon cancer, allowing earlier intervention and treatment.
The study has been published in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research, a monthly publication.