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Last week researchers reported that another important biomarker has been identified for treating mesothelioma and lung cancer patients.Researchers have discovered that the fibroblast growth-inducible 14 (FN14) gene plays a role in tumor growth and metastasis.  When the FN14 gene was suppressed the spread of the metastasis was slowed.

The lead scientist in the oncology lab at St. Joseph's Center for Thoracic Disease and Transplantation in Phoeniz Arizona, Landon J. Inge, Phd said the data suggest "that FN14 levels can contribute to NSCLC migration and invasion.  Thus, tumor suppression through the targeting of FN14 may prove to be a therapeutic intervention in NSCLC and other tumor types."

Patients with non-small cell lung cancer and mesothelioma may benefit from the identification and continued research efforts such as the researchers at St. Joseph's Hospital.  The identification of another biomarker may "open the door for potential new treatment options", reported researchers from St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center.

Previous treatment options involved another biomarker called the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) also found in lung cancer and mesothelioma patients.  EGFR is a protein found at abnormally high levels on the surface of cancer cells, including more than half of the patients suffering from pleural mesothelioma according to a 2009 article in Current Drug Targets.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center conducts numerous clinical trials for mesothelioma and is making great strides toward effective drug therapy to slow the progression of the disease. These clinical trials along with the continued research efforts identifying new biomarkers are providing new insight and hope in the fight against mesothelioma and lung cancer.   

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