French and US researchers unravel ultimate cancer biomarker
Paris – A French-US research team (multiple French research institutes and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, under INSERM director Nicolae Ghinea) has potentially identified the ultimate cancer biomarker. Analysis of data from 1,336 patients in early and late states of 11 different cancers (prostate, breast, colon, pancreas, bladder, kidneys, lungs, liver, stomach, testicles and ovaries) found a follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) receptor on the luminal surface of endothelial cells of blood vessels of the ovaries or testicles in all the samples of cancer patients, regardless of the type or stage of the tumour. In contrast, the FSH receptor was absent in the non-cancerous tissues of the organism, including the non-affected tissue of the organ that was carrying the tumour. In general, blood vessels which expressed FSH receptor were found at the periphery of the tumour. The researchers have already performed successful detection experiments through imaging in mice. Further experiments are required to confirm the detection of the FSH receptor by testing imaging procedures currently used in hospitals (MRI, PET and ultrasound imaging). The researchers believe that this receptor will be able to act as a general target for anti-cancer drugs as well as for agents which destroy or block blood vessels in tumours.