JAN 11, 2018 6:12 AM PST

Biomarkers Affected By Alcohol Linked to Survival of Gastric Cancer Patients

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

For the first time, scientists have made a connection between specific biomarkers and gastric cancer outcomes.

Immunohistochemical staining of transcription factor IIB-related factor 1 (BRF1) in gastric cancer. Credit: The American Journal of Pathology

Alcohol consumption is a known risk factor for gastric cancer, partly because it interacts with specific proteins, which ultimately influences how a person with gastric cancer will respond to a type of chemotherapy, platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy.

One protein, transcription factor IIB-related factor 1 (BRF1), a “key microRNA-processing modulator, has the attention of researchers in a new American Journal of Pathology study. In the past, both alcohol consumption and BRF1 have also been linked to breast and liver cancer.

Additionally, researchers are investigating the role of BRCA1/2, a gene linked to increases in a person’s risk of breast cancer, and myeloperoxidase (MPO), an enzyme linked to risk of heart attack, which are apparently more likely to occur in people with gastric cancer who do not stop drinking alcohol.

“We found that DNA repair-related markers, BRF1, BRCA1/2, and MPO, have good prognostic value in gastric cancer patients with or without harmful alcohol consumption habits,” explained Hua Wang, MD, PhD, and co-senior author Kangsheng Gu, MD, PhD. “Moreover, these proteins are also associated with how effective platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy will be for gastric cancer patients.”

Wang, Gu, and the other researchers conducted a study with a tissue analysis from 77 patients who had previously received surgery for primary gastric adenocarcinoma, inside and outside the tumor area. Some patients underwent radical surgery (66) while others received platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy (57). An overwhelming majority (94 percent) experienced disease recurrence within 18 months.

The results showed that BRF1, BRCA1/2, and MPO were effective at predicting which patients would benefit the most from platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy. They also found that alcohol only continued to make things worse for gastric cancer patients.

But how exactly do these proteins interact with alcohol and contribute toward cancer growth?

"Until now, there have been no good markers to indicate alcohol consumption in gastric cancer tissue," Wang said. "Future larger clinical trials are planned to explore the prognostic utility of these biomarkers in gastric and other cancers in patients who consume hazardous quantities of alcohol."

The present study was published in the American Journal of Pathology.

Sources: Cleveland Clinic, Elsevier

About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
MAY 13, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Smart Patch Measures How Itchy You Are
MAY 13, 2021
Smart Patch Measures How Itchy You Are
A wearable “scratch sensor” developed by researchers at Northwestern University could finally help doctors m ...
MAY 14, 2021
Microbiology
An Imaging Tool for Seeing Bacterial Infections in the Body
MAY 14, 2021
An Imaging Tool for Seeing Bacterial Infections in the Body
Researchers have created an imaging agent that will allow scientists and clinicians to visualize a bacterial infection c ...
JUN 22, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
See the Nasties on Your Skin with Your Smartphone
JUN 22, 2021
See the Nasties on Your Skin with Your Smartphone
The skin is home to around 1.5 trillion bacteria, which together with fungi and viruses, make up the skin microbiota. Th ...
AUG 08, 2021
Cardiology
Strong Links Between PTSD and Heart Disease
AUG 08, 2021
Strong Links Between PTSD and Heart Disease
The link between heart disease and stress is well known, but researchers still have a lot to learn about that associatio ...
AUG 29, 2021
Cancer
Blood Test over 90% Accurate in Detecting Lung Cancer
AUG 29, 2021
Blood Test over 90% Accurate in Detecting Lung Cancer
An AI-powered blood test was able to correctly detect the presence of lung cancer over 90% of the time in patient sample ...
SEP 14, 2021
Health & Medicine
The Magnitude of Cardiovascular Disease- New Insights and Ways Forward
SEP 14, 2021
The Magnitude of Cardiovascular Disease- New Insights and Ways Forward
Among healthcare professionals, it is common knowledge that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the ...
Loading Comments...