Research on New Generation Tumor Markers

Yildiz Dincer, Ph.D. (Editor)
Istanbul University- Cerrahpasa, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Istanbul, Turkey

Series: Cancer Etiology, Diagnosis and Treatments
BISAC: MED062000

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Many cancers are associated with the abnormal production of some molecules which can be measured in plasma/urine or can be detected on the surface of resected tumor tissue. These molecules are known as tumor markers. The potential uses of tumor markers are screening in the general population, differential diagnoses of symptomatic patients, clinical staging of cancer, estimating tumor volume, indicating prognosis, monitoring treatment and detecting recurrences. In order to obtain maximum clinical benefit, a tumor marker should have some characteristics. A tumor marker should be tissue-specific. The plasma level of the tumor marker should be in proportion to the size and activity of the tumor. A tumor marker should be present in plasma at a detectable level, even though tumor size is very small. A tumor marker should reflect the altered tumor characteristic as a response to therapy.

Unfortunately, currently used tumor markers do not meet all of these criteria. A majority of them are present in normal, benign and tumor tissues, and unfortunately, they are not specific enough to be used for cancer screening in the general population. In addition, conventional tumor markers are poor in reflecting altered tumor behavior in response to anticancer therapy. They are of most value during follow-up appointments. Recent developments in molecular biology have led to the identification of numerous new tumor biomarkers. Firstly, the detection of DNA and RNA freely circulating in blood has provided a new perspective for the early diagnosis of cancer, patient follow-up, and assessment of therapy efficacy. Circulating free nucleic acids can originate from both malignant and non-malignant tissues. Discrimination of tumor cells is based on the presence of tumor-specific genetic and epigenetic alterations. This circulating nucleic acid-based approach is termed a “liquid biopsy.” Due to its non-invasive and repeatable features, liquid biopsy is a promising tool for cancer patients. It is particularly helpful in cancers where solid tissue biopsies are not feasible, and in the metastatic patients when multiple distinct tumor masses are simultaneously present.

As another advantage, liquid biopsy shows the current tumor dynamics during anticancer therapy and drug sensitivities that conventional examinations fail to reflect. Secondly, self-renewable stem cells have the potential to cause cancer. If stem cells are genetically or epienetically changed, their differentiation potential becomes impaired and their proliferative capacity becomes uncontrolled. Current anticancer therapies mostly fail to eradicate cancer stem cells and instead favor expansion of the cancer stem cell pool and/or select for resistant stem cells. Thirdly, microRNAs, non-coding RNAs and transfer RNA fragments found in the bloodstream are candidate markers for the diagnosis and prognosis of different types of cancer. This book provides an overview of these new molecular tumor markers.

Preface

Chapter 1. Commonly Used Tumor Markers and Their Limitations
(Ali A. Tuz, SelinYuksel and Yildiz Dincer, PhD, Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Istanbul, Turkey, and others)

Chapter 2. FXYD3: A Promising Biomarker for Cancer Treatment
(Chia-chi Liu, PhD, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia)

Chapter 3. Circulating Cell-Free DNA
(Rahiye Dilhan Kuru, PhD, Istanbul University, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Department of Medical Biology, Ýstanbul, Turkey)

Chapter 4. Circulating Free DNA in Hepatobiliary and Gastrointestinal Malignancies
(Nuzhat Husain, MD, and Swati Kumari, PhD, Department of Pathology, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, India)

Chapter 5. MicroRNAs in Cancer Management
(Bahadýr Batar, PhD, Emre Ozoran, MD and Mehmet Guven, PhD, Department of Medical Biology, Namik Kemal University Medical Faculty, Tekirdag, Turkey, and others)

Chapter 6. Cancer Stem Cells Concepts and Their Association with Diagnostic and Therapeutic Strategies
(Federica Collino, Maria Isabel D. Rossi and Rafael Soares Lindoso, Carlos Chagas Institute of Biophysics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and others)

Chapter 7. tRNAs and Their Fragments as Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarkers in Cancer
(Nurten Bahtiyar, PhD, and Ilhan Onaran, PhD, Istanbul University, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Department of Biophysics, Istanbul, Turkey, and others)

Chapter 8. Long Non-Coding RNAs: Potential Diagnostic Biomarkers
(Burcu Bayoglu, PhD, Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, Department of Medical Biology, Istanbul, Turkey)

Chapter 9. Molecular Markers for Thyroid Cancer: Clinical Applications
(Sushela S. Chaidarun, MD, PhD, Department of Medicine, Endocrine Section, Geisel Medical School at Dartmouth, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, US)

Index

Keywords: Tumor marker, liquid biopsy, cancer stem cells, micro RNAs, circulating cell free DNA

Audience:
Medical oncologists; radiation oncologists; academicians; students of medicine, pharmacology, molecular biology, genetics, epigenetics and students of Master and Ph.D. in the same areas; disease-specific researchers; all scientist/investigators who have an career in molecular oncology and pharmacology

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