Scientists at Duke Cancer Institute have found that a blood test for LDH levels could help doctors prescribe the best treatment for patients with advanced kidney cancer. The common enzyme, LDH (lactate dehydrogenase), helps the body convert food to energy and is released when cells die or suffer injury. High LDH levels have been linked to aggressive tumor growth in kidney cancer.
Using data from an earlier experimental drug trial, the Duke researchers showed that patients with high LDH levels lived longer when treated with temsirolimus, an mTOR inhibitor drug, vs. interferon-alpha treatments. They need to confirm their findings, but are encouraged given the prevalence of kidney cancer in the United States. According to the National Cancer Institute, 65,000 people will be stricken this year. Confirmation of their research may mean that LDH levels could predict effective treatment for other types of cancers as well.
Blood Test Could Guide Treatment for Kidney Cancer, ScienceDaily, August 13, 2012