Lung cancer can be tackled effectively only if the diagnosis is in very early stages.
Unfortunately under present circumstances, the rates of success in tackling this disease Cancerous show that less than 10% of patients will survive.
The main problem in combating cancer, it is the fact that the disease does not respond to existing treatments such as for example in chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.
In addition, the diagnosis is made late, when the malignancy has already spread. This further reduces the chances of success of treatments available.
Unfortunately, prevention is not yet effective because despite repeated campaigns against smoking, the bad habit that remains as a major cause of lung cancer accompanied with a very high mortality rate.
Recently, German researchers have identified a specific blood protein whose presence is associated with the existence of lung cancer. The protein is called pleiotrophin detected very early in blood, in the early stages for lung cancer.
Additionally showed that levels of pleitrophin in the blood were higher when the cancer was in advanced stages.
It also found that when treatment was successful against cancer, then the pleitrophin reduced levels in blood.
This characteristic can give valuable information on both the effectiveness of treatment and monitoring.
The relapse of the disease, for example, could be detected very early thanks to increased pleitrophin in blood. The detection can be done much earlier than the onset of clinical symptoms and abnormalities that appear on chest x-ray and the axis scanner.
The initial investigation showed that the above conclusions was made in 63 patients with lung cancer in 22 patients with non-small lung cancer and 41 healthy volunteers.
Please note that in patients with lung cancer, found that on average, the pleitrophin was 11 times higher compared to healthy volunteers.
The pleitrophin is a protein belonging to the family of growth factors. During the fetal life promotes the growth and differentiation of cells in the nervous tissue.
Action has promoted the mitosi, namely the proliferation of cells. Also promotes the angiogenesis, namely the creation of new vessels.
A reasonable question now concerns the importance of today, in everyday practice these important findings.
The investigation is likely to be the first of its kind and certainly the results promising for the early detection of lung cancer on the response to treatment, for monitoring and early detection of relapses of the disease.
But before we can reach definitive conclusions and recommendations for a new strategy for monitoring, should now be conducted clinical investigations with large numbers of patients to confirm whether or not the first encouraging results.