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STUDY: Back to glycoproteins, What we are all about !
JOURNAL: Lancet 2003;362:869-875.
AUTHORS: Dr. Admin Altevogt
ABSTRACT: Expression of L1, a glycoprotein adhesion molecule, in ovarian and uterine tumors is strongly associated with a poor prognosis.
COMMENTARY: Dr. Admin Altevogt, from the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, and colleagues assessed L1 expression in tumor specimens from 58 women with ovarian cancer and 72 with uterine cancer. They also determined if soluble L1 could be detected in serum samples of these patients.
In both patient groups, L1 expression was associated with poorly differentiated tumors and with advanced disease stage, the researchers note. Moreover, such expression was a very strong predictor of poor prognosis (p > 0.00001).
L1 expression was tied to disease progression even when a histologic type with a usually good prognosis, such as endometrioid-type, was present.
A soluble form of L1 was found in serum samples from patients with stage III/IV disease, the researchers note. Although further studies are needed, soluble L1 could represent a useful marker for the detection or follow-up of patients with ovarian and uterine malignancies, they add.
"L1-based diagnosis and prognosis could make an important contribution towards a better management and treatment of this disease," the authors state.