Investigators at Northside Hospital Cancer Institute Instrumental in Identifying New Biomarker for Women’s Cancers

Posted on: August 01, 2017

 

To provide the highest level of patient care, Northside Hospital is heavily involved in research and publications. Recently, Northside Hospital Cancer Institute participated in several multi-institutional studies that identified and characterized a new biomarker, KIFC1. This biomarker has gained recent attention due to its link to malignancy. Specifically, KIFC1 helps predict: (1) aggressive ovarian cancer, and (2) poor prognosis in African American women with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Results of these studies can be found in the Journal of Ovarian Research and Science Reports, two peer-reviewed journals.1,2.

Advanced-stage ovarian cancer remains one of the deadliest gynecologic malignancies, and new biomarkers are needed to identify patients at the highest risk for metastasis. KIFC1 is a potential biomarker that helps predict disease aggressiveness and could serve as an ovarian cancer therapeutic target. In addition to ovarian cancer, KIFC1 has a role in breast cancer. Breast cancers may overexpress KIFC1, with TNBCs expressing highest levels of KIFC1. In one of the recent studies, KIFC1 significantly predicted survival outcomes in African American women with TNBC, but not in Caucasian women with TNBC, regardless of KIFC1 levels. African American TNBC cell lines are more reliant on KIFC1 for migration, which suggests an inherently different biology related to race. These findings show KIFC1 is a critical racial disparity biomarker in TNBC and a potential therapeutic target. Progress has been made in developing KIFC1 inhibitors; therefore, identifying patients most likely to benefit is valuable.

Thank you to Dr. Guilherme Cantuaria, MD, PhD, Chair of the Gynecologic Oncology Steering Committee of NHCI and Principal Investigator of GA NCORP; Mildred Jones; and their colleagues from NHCI for their contributions to this important research and associated publications.

1 Mittal K et al. J Ovarian Res. 2016;9:17.
2 Ogden A et al. Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 20;7:42289.

Filed under: Cancer, Recognitions,

 

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