Fruit Flies Lead Researchers to Kidney Cancer Biomarker

by: cancercompass

Fruit flies have helped researchers discover a biomarker present in a common type of kidney cancer.

While mining the gene networks of fruit flies, a team from the University of Chicago found SPOP, a biomarker found in 99% of clear cell renal cell carcinomas, but not in normal kidney tissues, according to a recent study published online in the journal Science.

Study authors say physicians could use SPOP to identify Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC), which they say is the most common type of kidney cancer. These new findings could lead to new targeted drugs while also confirming the important role organisms like fruit flies play in human disease.

Researchers looked at 300 renal cell cancer samples; 77% were positive for SPOP, while normal kidney samples were negative, according to a University of Chicago press release.

The press release also states that 75% of all renal cell cancers are clear cell RCC. And during the study, researchers found that 99% of the clear cell RCC samples were positive for the SPOP biomarker.