Biomarkers for OLP Patients
Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a potentially malignant disorder associated with increased risk for oral cancer. Shi and colleagues examined the protein expression of podoplanin and ATP-binding cassette, G2 (ABCG2) in patients with untransformed and transformed OLP. Both podoplanin and ABCG2 were significantly associated with transformed OLP patients, compared to patients with untransformed OLP. Perhaps these proteins can serve as reliable biomarkers for OLP patients who are at risk for malignant transformation.
Breast Lumps and Delayed Medical Presentation
Prompt medical presentation after the discovery of a breast symptom can result in earlier stage at cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, many patients delay seeking medical attention once they discover a breast symptom. To better understand the factors that contribute to these delays, Rauscher and colleagues performed a population-based study among symptomatic urban breast cancer patients. They report that misconceptions about breast lumps, the lack of a regular provider, and the lack of health insurance were all associated with prolonged patient delay. This study highlights the need to educate women about the importance of prompt evaluation of breast symptoms.
Evaluating Risks of Genetic Profiles and Biomarkers
There are high expectations for the use of biomarkers and genetic profiles to accurately predict disease outcomes for individual patients. However, statistical measures used to quantify the predictive information are not standardized and are often difficult to relate to clinical practice. These important issues are addressed in an article by Pepe and colleagues where the authors discuss the statistical techniques used to summarize predictive information. The article evaluates the extent to which genes and biomarkers can predict individual risk, and provides guidance regarding the different ways one can measure information obtained in genetic profiles.
Second Cancers in Childhood Cancer Survivors
The temporal pattern of mortality from late second malignant neoplasms (SMN) after childhood cancer is not well known. Often, this knowledge gap is due to insufficient patient follow-up periods. To explore these late occurring second cancers, Tukenova and colleagues evaluated long-term mortality from SMN in a cohort of survivors of childhood cancer. The authors report that the absolute excess risk of SMN increased significantly over a period of at least 25 years after the first cancer. Thus, survivors of childhood cancer run high long-term mortality risks for all types of SMN and require careful long-term screening, beyond 25 years after diagnosis.