Four biomarkers may help predict cancer chances

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – UAB researchers say they have discovered a set of biomarkers that may signal if a person is likely to develop colorectal cancer. The findings also hinted at which genetics resulted in worse treatment outcomes for African-Americans when compared to Caucasians.

UAB grad student Liselle Bovell presented the findings to the American Association of Cancer Research at their annual meeting on April 19th. The findings stated that high levels of a genetic biomarker called microRNA meant a increased risk of death for any patient who was being treated for colorectal cancer.

Patients who tested for higher levels of microRNA-21 and miR-106  would receive a poorer prognosis after treatment whether they were African-American or Caucasian. Patients with higher levels of miR-181 and miR-203 signaled a worse prognosis for African-Americans, but not Caucasians.

"This knowledge gives us solid, prognostic information, so we can better manage patients with these cancers early after diagnosis or surgery," Bovell said.  

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