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Proteins called A-type lamins appear to indicate the presence of aggressive disease in patients with colorectal cancer. A-type lamins may also play a role in determining treatment options among these patients. These results were recently published in the journal PLoS ONE.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Although standard therapy often involves chemotherapy, particularly among more advanced-stage colorectal cancers, anticancer responses and corresponding survival rates vary widely among patients with this disease. As such, researchers continue to evaluate certain markers that indicate disease characteristics in order to individualize therapeutic approaches.

Researchers from Europe recently conducted a clinical study to evaluate data from tissue collected from patients with colorectal cancer. Specifically, researchers evaluated the presence of A-type lamins in tissue and associated outcomes among patients.

  • Patients who have A-type lamin-expressing cancers have a significantly worse outcome compared with patients whose cancer does not express A-type lamin.
  • A-type lamin was implicated in promoting the movement of cancer cells in the body, as well as their ability to invade areas such as organs.
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The researchers concluded: “Expression of A-type lamins increases the risk of death from [colorectal cancer].” If confirmed, A-type lamins may play a role in understanding the prognosis of a patient with colorectal cancer and in determining subsequent treatment options.

Reference: Willis N, Cox T, Rahman-Casans S, et al.Lamin A/C is a risk biomarker in colorectal cancer. PloS One. Available at: . Accessed August 2008.

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