Biomarker for Lung Cancer Progression Found

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(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Levels of an enzyme involved in vitamin B6 metabolism correlate with disease progression in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), according to a team of French researchers. This conclusion is based on a study entitled “Prognostic Impact of Vitamin B6 Metabolism in Lung Cancer,” which was published in Cell Reports on July 26.

In this study, the investigators aimed to identify genes that play a role in the pathologic response of NSCLC patients to cisplatin. Using a genetic screening tool, the investigators identified vitamin B6 metabolism as a central regulator of cisplatin responses in vitro and in vivo. The investigators also demonstrated that vitamin B6 exacerbates cisplatin-mediated DNA damage, thus sensitizing a large panel of cancer cell lines to apoptosis. “Moreover, vitamin B6 sensitizes cancer cells to apoptosis induction by distinct types of physical and chemical stress, including multiple chemotherapeutics. This effect requires pyridoxal kinase (PDXK), the enzyme that generates the bioactive form of vitamin B6,” the investigators wrote. More importantly, the investigators observed low PDXK expression levels to be associated with poor disease outcome in 2 independent cohorts of patients with NSCLC.

The investigators made the following conclusions. PDXK is required for optimal cisplatin responses in cancer cells. Vitamin B6 metabolism affects cellular responses to multiple stress conditions. PDXK expression levels influence disease progression in NSCLC patients. PDXK can be used as a biomarker for risk stratification among patients with NSCLC.


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