Published today in BMC Medicine, scientists have found a new biomarker, MIA, for neurofibromatosis, a disease that affects 1 in 3000. Although many cases are benign cafe au lait spots, some cases can result in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. Identification of a marker in the blood will help diagnosis.
This study, published by (Kolanczyk et. al.), has found that expression of a protein, called melanoma-inhibitory activity/cd-rap or MIA, can be readily detected in the blood. MIA expression is correlated with tumor burden, so the more tumors present, the higher the MIA content in the serum. This could result in a non-invasive test to detect NF1 tumors, especially for those with subcutaneous and internal tumors that are difficult to otherwise detect.
Kolanczyk et. al. BMC Medicine
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