New Tumor Marker

Here’s a new discovery that could be huge for the early diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Researchers say a hormone receptor normally confined to the reproductive organs has been detected in malignant tumors in many parts of the body.

They evaluated tumor tissue samples from 1,300 men and women with 11 common cancers, including prostate, breast, colon, pancreatic, lung, liver and ovarian. They found the presence of the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) receptor in the blood vessel cells of the tumors.

This receptor is not found on blood vessels in normal tissue, with the exception of the reproductive organs, where it appears in much lower concentrations and stimulates the growth of blood vessels.

The study in The New England Journal of Medicine says this means it can be used as a new tumor marker to improve cancer detection, as well as the basis for a treatment that would block blood supply to the tumour.

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