London, January 1 (ANI): British scientists say that it may be possible to predict whether or not chemotherapy treatment would turn out to be successful for a lung cancer patient, by testing the presence of a molecule made by a more aggressive form of the disease in his/her blood.
In a research article in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Research UK suggested that the discovery might help doctors choose the right kind of treatment for lung cancer patients.
The researchers revealed that the molecule called SCG3 mRNA was more likely to be found in the blood of people with neuroendocrine small cell cancer, a version of the disease least likely to be treated successfully.
They said patients arriving at the clinic could one day be tested to give doctors an idea of the likely success of chemotherapy, if their findings replicated in larger studies.
They also envisioned the possibility of comparing effectiveness of new chemotherapy treatments in different groups of small cell lung cancer patients.
"There are currently no blood-based markers routinely used to monitor patients with this type of lung cancer," the BBC quoted Dr Judy Coulson, from the University of Liverpool, as saying.
"We found that SCG3 mRNA is an incredibly sensitive marker of these tumours and could be used to detect circulating tumour cells in patients with this disease," Coulson added.
Lesley Walker, from Cancer Research UK, said: "This discovery is an important step to understanding how to treat lung cancer patients more effectively. Lung cancer can be very difficult to treat in its later stages, either because it has spread or because there are too many tumours." (ANI)