A new test may be able to predict if a cancer will metastasize – that is, a process where cancer cells break off from the main cancerous tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
A team of researchers have discovered a way to test a certain protein in cancer cells, the CPE-deltaN or its RNA. By testing this protein, doctors will be able to tell if the cancer has already metastasized or if the tumor is likely to spread.
There are two types of cancers: benign and metastatic.
Benign tumors are those which are regionally confined in a tissue, and could easily be removed through surgery. On the other hand, metastatic is when the cancer is able to spread through infiltration of the blood and the lymphatic system which will then facilitate the formation new cancers in other parts of the body.
The research team may still be a long way from proving the efficacy of the new test or cancer marker for predicting cancer spread, but other cancer researchers have already acknowledged the value of the test.
If this test could be validated, it would imply that doctors would be able to plan their patients’ care more efficiently. If the protein could predict spread of cancer, it also means that future doctors will be able to “tweak” this protein, therefore deactivating the cancerous cell.
Researchers claim that it would be like putting a stop sign on cancer.