Researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles and colleagues have identified a biomarker that may prove helpful in selecting likely responders to participate in clinical trials of PTEN inhibitors to treat cancer. The study, published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed an inverse correlation between insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGF-BP2) and PTEN, a tumor suppressor gene associated with many cancers.

PTEN can lose its ability to function through mutation, homozygous deletion, loss of heterozygosity or epigenetic loss of expression. According to the study, glioblastoma, prostate and endometrial tumors are among the most common cancers affected by PTEN abnormalities, with incidences of up to 50%.