A prognostic marker showing up five years after diagnosis can predict the clinical survival of healthy people and predict the quality of life of those with brain tumors according to a study by researchers at NYU School of Medicine.

The marker was developed through collaboration between NYU Langone Cancer Center researchers Susan G. Yang PhD director of Clinical and Translational Research Programs and head of the NYU Grossman School of Medicine Network and Nicholas Pierce PhD who is also serving as the first author of the study.

It is widely accepted that poor neurological prognosis in cancer patients is primarily driven by the presence of malignant cells largely prognosticating against survival. But neurosurgery patients do not have good survival prospects are diagnosed later in their disease course and can have long-term adverse outcomes. Given this it has been hypothesized that a prognostic marker would be identified that would provide prognostic information long before a neurosurgery patient would diagnose.

Pierce and Yang have developed a marker that could be used for neurosurgery patients with tumors that are difficult to eradicate underwent surgery has spread or has escaped treatment.

Shifting focus to a more objective correlate-like approach to prognostic biomarkers the researchers hypothesized that measuring the biomarker-derived levels of two proteases could be useful as a diagnostic tool to diagnose healthy people three years after cancer surgery estimating survival.

The proteins are proteins that are found in tissues where the cancer has successfully invaded or caused an internal or external death. As proteins the proteases are essential or stable endpoints for many of the processes supported by the DNA genome. The proteases are clonal or mitotic in nature meaning they act in a double-layered way to promote maintain or protect healthy levels of the protex are which would be abnormal cellular stress (i. e. matrix degradation) and make tumors more susceptible to targeting by the immune system.

After discovering that proteases likely function in a similar way as a cells gene transcription factor Simon-Manuel Reinesbeck PhD from NYU Langone lead author of the study explained We looked at their similarity to the transcription factor a gene that has been implicated as a prognostic factor for a number of cancers in objective studies.

Research team investigators from NYUs Kathy Law PhD Dean for Research and UCSF Langone Dr. Susan G. Yang Dr. Nicholas W. Pierce Anna M. Morley-Sloan Dr. Ellen Vale and Erika D. Amer each acknowledged peer-reviewers for their work on the study as well as NYU Langones Cheng Wen Dr. Paul Shattock and Perminder Pal et al. editors. NYU Langone Press.

The studys findings are a tremendous step forward for neurosurgery patients. Our findings suggest that these measurements-in identifying patterns in neurosurgery patients who demonstrate acute signs of poor neurosurgery outcomes-can also be used to draw useful inferences about who will best benefit from additionaldiligentsenior brain tumor treatments the authors concluded.

The NYU Langone study was conducted in collaboration with SUNY Buffalo Brain Tumors Inc. a Buffalo N. Y. -based nonprofit and was funded by the National Institutes of Health.