Scientists identify genetic marker for gastric cancer prognosis
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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – August 9, 2018 – Although immunotherapy is seen as a very promising treatment for cancer, currently only 20 to 30 percent of patients respond positively. Being able to identify the people most likely to benefit from the costly therapy is a Holy Grail for oncologists.

In the current online edition of JAMA Oncology, scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center report finding a new molecular biomarker for gastric cancer — the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.

Despite progress in the eradication of the bacteria helicobacter pylori, the major cause of gastric cancer, as well as earlier cancer diagnosis, the five-year survival rate for gastric cancer remains less than 30 percent. Gastric cancer is one of the most common cancer types in China but the incidence for gastric cancer has seen a steady increase in the United States in recent years.

“Immunotherapy treatment has shown remarkable benefit for some cancer patients whereas others experience toxicities,” said Wei Zhang, Ph.D., professor of cancer biology at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study. “More potential markers are urgently needed to help oncologists decide which patient would benefit from this promising new treatment strategy.”

In this study,

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