Researchers at the Kitasato University School of Allied Health Science in Japan recently discovered that patients with lung cancer, including those with Stage 1 disease, have significantly higher-than-normal levels of a biomarker called cytoskeleton-associated protein 4 (CKAP4), a finding that could improve early lung cancer diagnosis and lead to better patient outcomes.
Most lung cancer is diagnosed at an advanced, less treatable stage, and the disease is the leading cause of cancer-related death in both men and women worldwide. Other biomarker tests for lung cancer include carcinoma embryonic antigen, sialyl Lewis X antigen, squamous cell carcinoma antigen, and cytokeratin fragment, but these tests are not sensitive enough to detect tumors at an early stage.
Measuring blood levels of CKAP4 was substantially more effective than testing for other known biomarkers for lung cancer in a study involving 271 people with lung cancer and 100 healthy people without the disease, and in a follow-up study involving 100 people with lung cancer and 38 healthy controls.
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