Liver Cancer Prognosis
Siena/Naples - The expression of the tumour-suppressing gene Rb2/p130 and the protein Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) in hepatocellular carcinoma - the third-largest cause of cancer deaths - could serve as prognostic markers in determining the aggressiveness of the cancer, according to Italian researchers at the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research (Clin. Cancer Res., May 15. 2004). The scientists discovered an inverse correlation between the expression of Rb2 and VEGF in the tumours: The lower the Rb2 expression and the higher the VEGF expression, the more aggressive was the liver cancer - regardless of whether the tumour was in an early or an advanced stage. The new markers may provide a way for an improved cancer prognosis which is independent of the tumour grading. A better prognosis would open up the way to an improved prevention of the deadly metastases.