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Magic roundabout protein: a possible prognostic indicator in patients with NSCLC

Görn M et al. (2005) Serum levels of Magic Roundabout protein in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Lung Cancer 49: 71–76

A recently discovered endothelial-specific gene, magic roundabout (MR; ROBO4), which has a proposed role in angiogenesis, was the focus of a recent analysis by Görn and co-workers at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf and the German Cancer Research Centre. The authors investigated the relationship between pre-chemotherapy serum levels of MR protein and outcome in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Using anti-MR-protein polyclonal antibodies and an ELISA method, the pretreatment sera of 193 nonselected patients with either stage IIIB or stage IV NSCLC were tested for the presence of MR protein. Patients formed a subset of a larger cohort enrolled in a randomized phase III trial of two chemotherapy regimens (gemcitabine and vinorelbine [GV] and gemcitabine, vinorelbine, and cisplatin [GVP]) between September 1999 and June 2001. The median survival time of patients with serum MR-protein levels below the median (0.652 [wavelength 450 nm]) was 41.0 weeks, which was just significantly longer than that of those with MR-protein levels above the median (32.4 weeks) (P = 0.05). In a univariate Cox regression analysis, however, the serum MR-protein concentration showed no prognostic significance (P = 0.24; hazard ratio 1.26). Other variables, such as treatment arm, disease stage and histologic subtype, had no significant effect on overall survival. To the authors' knowledge, these are the first data linking MR expression with survival in patients with NSCLC.


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King, A. Magic roundabout protein: a possible prognostic indicator in patients with NSCLC. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2, 484 (2005).

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