(RxWiki News) Research into cancer involves two basic questions - how did this happen, and how can we fix it.
Increasing amounts of advanced technology have been devoted to finding the answers to these deceptively simple questions.
Ultimately it's a slow slog from identifying cancer proteins, investigating what they do, and refining the pharmaceutical targets.
"Ask your oncologist about genetic markers for your cancer."
This is a process that can take years, and a lot of laboratory work is involved. Recently a group of scientists from Shanghai's Jiao Tong Medical University published their findings on the protein HMGB1, showing that high levels of this protein are a particularly bad finding for patients with bladder cancer.
In the study, tissue samples were taken from 164 bladder cancer patients, and they were analyzed by a pathologist before being genetically sequenced.
Level of protein found in the bladder cancer cells could almost directly be shown to correlate with the severity and aggression of the cancer, with a very high level of statistical certainty stated by the research team.
So far, unusually high levels of HMGB1 have been found involved in several types of cancers, so researcher's findings in this case could be expanded with future study. The role of HMGB1 in cell growth and inflammation could later reveal it to be a main gateway of cancer transformation.
Further clinical research as well as studies like this will allow doctors to test for the same mutation in their cancer patients, helping them understand prognosis as well as predict optimum treatments.
The research was published in the Journal of Surgical Oncology.
No financial conflicts of interest were disclosed by the researchers.