According to a new study published in the journal Oncogene, researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München research center in Germany have identified a new biomarker that can determine whether papillary thyroid carcinoma was caused by radiation or is of a sporadic origin.
The biomarker, a protein called CAP-Gly domain-containing linker protein 2 (CLIP2), was found to be overexpressed after exposure to radiation from radioiodine. In the study, the researchers developed a standardized approach to determine whether CLIP2 was overexpressed in thyroid cancer cells.
The researchers suggest that CLIP2 acts as a radiation marker and allows clinicians to determine the cancer cause and to better assess the risk for developing papillary thyroid carcinoma after exposure to a high level of radiation.
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 63,000 Americans will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer and nearly 2,000 will die from the disease in 2014. Thyroid cancer is the most rapidly increasing cancer in the United States. Exposure to radiation, such as certain medical treatments and radiation fallout, is a proven risk factor for thyroid cancer. Several DNA mutations have been linked to papillary thyroid carcinoma, so testing for CLIP2 overexpression may determine if a patient's thyroid cancer was caused by radiation or is more likely due to genetic alterations.
The expression of the protein CLIP2 provides information on whether a papillary thyroid carcinoma was induced by radiation or had a sporadic origin. With this discovery, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum München have identified a new biomarker for the diagnosis of the cancer cause.
Their findings have been published in the journal ‘Oncogene’. CLIP2 serves as a radiation marker: After exposure to radiation from radioiodine, both the genetic activity and the protein expression are increased, as the scientists’ studies were able to substantiate.