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GEN News Highlights : May 17, 2007

CytoCore Identifies Precancerous Tissue Biomarker

P2X7 can differentiate between normal, cancerous, and precancerous cells in uterine epithelial cancers.

CytoCore reported findings based on laboratory testing of the P2X7 receptor gene indicating that this biomarker is capable of distinguishing between cancerous, precancerous, and normal tissues. Data from this study also suggests that P2X7 protein and mRNA assays could potentially be developed as a screen for uterine endometrial premalignant conditions.

"The P2X7 has demonstrated accuracy and specificity in results from our initial laboratory testing for uterine epithelial cancers, including cervical and endometrial cancers," says George Gorodeski, Ph.D., M.D., CytoCore's chief scientist and lead researcher. "Moreover, because of its widespread presence in epithelial cells throughout the body, the P2X7 could potentially differentiate precancerous conditions in other epithelial tissues not yet tested."

CytoCore conducted a peer-reviewed medical literature search of P2X7, which the company says confirmed that it is the only marker at this time able to identify precancerous tissues before tumors develop.

These findings have been published in Gynecologic Oncology.