Renal cell carcinoma is the most common form of adult kidney cancer and the third most common urologic malignancy, accounting for about 2% of all malignancies and 2% of cancer-related deaths worldwide. It is also one of the most difficult cancers to detect and treat because it is usually found after it has metastasized to other organs. The results of a new immunoassay that tests for the presence of three serum/plasma biomarkers appears promising for the early detection of malignant kidney tumors, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Three Potential Biomarkers
The immunoassay developed by researchers from Genomine Inc., measured the levels of three potential biomarkers for kidney cancer: nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT), L-plastin (LCP1), and nonmetastatic cells 1 protein (NM23A) in 189 plasma samples taken from 102 healthy controls and patients with benign tumors and 87 patients with kidney cancer. The test found that plasma levels of NNMT, LCP1, and NM23A were highly elevated in the patients with kidney cancer (P < .0001). The researchers then tested the ability of the immunoassay to distinguish plasma samples taken from the healthy controls and the patients with kidney cancer and found that the assay was highly accurate, correctly identifying 90% of the samples from the healthy controls and 94.4% of the samples from patients with kidney cancer.
To validate the accuracy of the assay, the researchers blind tested an additional 100 plasma samples from 73 healthy controls and 27 patients with kidney cancer and found that 67 of the samples from the healthy controls and all of the samples from the kidney cancer patients were classified correctly.
The FDA is currently evaluating the assay for approval. ■