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Tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) variants as prognostic markers in cancer

In vitro, in vivo and patient sample studies suggest TNF-a expression profiles could help guide cancer treatment. Malignant cells produce the inflammatory cytokine TNF-a, which can be in membrane-tethered or soluble forms. In cultured lung carcinoma cells and in mouse xenograft models, vector-induced expression of soluble TNF-a increased tumor growth, and expression of membrane-tethered TNF-a decreased tumor growth, compared with no TNF-a expression. In biopsies from patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), higher expression of membrane-tethered TNF-a relative to soluble TNF-a correlated with increased survival. Next steps include determining how tumors with different ratios of membrane-tethered and soluble TNF-a respond to TNF-a antagonists.

SciBX 6(25); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.643
Published online June 27, 2013

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Ardestani, S. et al. Cancer Res.; published online May 23, 2013;
Contact: Pampee P. Young, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.