The tool uses a panel of 29 unique extracellular matrix (ECM) genes that the researchers identified based on their abnormal expression in lung cancers compared to healthy lung tissues.
ECM is the space that surrounds cells and provides structural and biochemical support to surrounding cells. Recent studies have shown an association between tissue stiffness and the risk of cancer, particularly breast cancer. This is because some of the cells in the tumor produce fibrous-like collagen proteins that form into a scaffolding structure (ECM) for these cancer cells to attach to.
Although lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer death among both men and women, there is still a lack of definitive genetic “signature” to effectively predict how early-stage lung cancer patients would respond to adjuvant therapy like chemotherapy, before patients begin treatment.
The traditional way of targeting cancer has been a ‘one size fits all’ approach for patients. Yet, although two persons may have the same type of cancer, how the disease manifests and progresses is unique to each individual.