N-glycan profile fo an early detection of kidney cancer

Kidney disease formJapanese scientists, on the basis of their research published the official journal of the American Association of Urology “The Journal of Urology”, underline the usefulness of quantitative analysis of the serum N-glycan profile for an early detection of kidney cancer. The observed changes in serum N-glycan profile would also have a predictive value regarding the survival of already diagnosed patients with renal cell carcinoma (1).

According to the recent data (2010) published by the National Cancer Registry (Poland), kidney malignant tumors represent 4% in men and 3% in women of all cancer cases. In 2010, there were 4644 cases of kidney malignant tumors – including 2,736 cases in men and 1,908 in women. The risk of developing kidney cancer increases with age and it is almost two times higher in men than in women. The disease particularly affects people between the age of 50 and 70. The classic renal cell carcinoma symptoms (making up a specific triad) are: hematuria, palpable tumor in the left or right mesogastrium and pain located in this area (2). However, today, more than a half of all kidney cancer cases are detected incidentally during the imaging tests (3).

The test group consisted of 64 patients diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, while the control group consisted of 34 healthy volunteers at the similar age. In both groups, using glycoblotting methods and MALDI -TOF mass spectrometry technique, the scientists identified 56 types of N-glycans in serum. The mass spectrum peaks 40 and 43 were much more intense in the group of patients with renal cancer compared to the group of volunteers. What is more, the intensity of the 19th peak was much higher and the intensity of the 49th peak significantly lower in patients with renal cancer in comparison to the control group. Furthermore, the latter two peaks were independent predictors of overall survival (1).

The key issue, associated with better prognosis for the patient, is the detection of kidney malignant tumor at the early stage. According to the American Cancer Society, a 5-year survival in renal cell carcinoma with metastases (ie clinical stage IV) is only 8% (4). So far, the most promising early kidney cancer markers turned out to be proteins, such as B7- H1 and IMP3 with an independent prognostic value. However, their use on a wider scale has stalled (5, 6). Even studies of C-reactive protein produced by the cells of renal cell carcinoma have been discontinued, although they indicated the predictive value of this biochemical parameter relating to the survival (7).

Quantitative analysis of serum N-glycan profile is associated with the potential clinical utility. Some of the N-glycans might become useful biomarkers of an early kidney cancer and may also have a certain predictive value. However, before this happens, it is necessary to analyze their “potential” in a larger group of patients (1).

Written by: Rafał Drobot

1. Hatakeyama S, Amano M, Tobisawa Y, et al. Serum N-Glycan Alteration Associated with Renal Cell Carcinoma Detected by High Throughput Glycan Analysis. J Urol 2014; 191: 805-813.
2. http://onkologia.org.pl/nowotwory-zlosliwe-nerki-c67/
3. Ljungberg B, Bensalah K, Bex A, et al. Guidelines on Renal Cell Carcinoma. European Association of Urology, Guidelines EAU 2013: 317–373 (1–56).
4. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/kidneycancer/detailedguide/kidney-cancer-adult-survival-rates
5. Hoffmann NE, Sheinin Y, Lohse CM, et al. External validation of IMP3 expression as an independent prognostic marker for metastatic progression and death for patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma. Cancer 2008; 112: 1471-1479.
6. Thompson RH, Kuntz SM, Leibovich BC, et al. Tumor B7-H1 is associated with poor prognosis in renal cell carcinoma patients with long-term follow-up. Cancer Res 2006; 66: 3381-3385.
7. Saito K, Kihara K. Role of C-reactive protein as a biomarker for renal cell carcinoma. Expert Rev Anticancer Ther 2011; 10: 1979-1989.

Would You like to know more? Watch on MEDtube.net: Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy In Kidney Cancer

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