This week’s paper was recently published in PLoS One as the researchers sought prognostic biomarkers for colorectal cancer metastases (CLM). Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the world and metastasis of the disease makes it much harder to cure. Lin et al. compared tissue samples from patients with primary colorectal cancer (CRC) to samples from patients with CRC that had spread to the liver. Nearly 1000 genes showed differential expression between the two groups. Two proteins in particular, LEF1 and ostepontin, were found to be overexpressed in CLM. LEF1 overexpression was associated with a significantly worse survival rate and researchers suggest that it may serve as an important prognostic biomarker for CLM.

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Discussion question: Both of the differentially expressed proteins studied in this paper, LEF1 and osteopontin, are involved in the Wnt signaling pathway. What other proteins in this pathway are of interest for prognostic and diagnostic oncology research?